The former head of the New Jersey mob and the former head of the New York mob will both be joining Brad Pitt and Sam Rockwell's gang in the Noir mob mystery, Cogan's Trade.
James Gandolfini (best known as Tony Soprano) and Vincent Curatola (best known as Tony's NYC couterpart, Johnny Sack) have both signed on for the film, which is being helmed by Pitt and Rockwell's Assassination of Jesse James director, Andrew Dominick.
For those who don't yet know, Cogan's Trade is an adaptation of the novel by George C. Higgins, which tells the following story:
Jackie Cogan (Pitt) is a professional thug who makes certain the Mob’s rules of operation are never broken – and kills anyone who dares violate them. When a heist occurs during a high-stakes card game under the protection of the Mob, Cogan must navigate Boston’s underworld of mobsters, crooks, and corrupt politicians in order to set things right with his superiors. But that task is easier said than done and leads the ruthless but efficient Cogan down a dangerous and violent path.
Sounds to me like that Mel Gibson movie Payback - though clearly Cogan is more of serious mob thriller rather than a slightly tongue-in-cheek genre B-Movie guilty pleasure. The cast involved in this production certainly lends an air of authority to the film, and having Dominik both writing and directing is very good sign in my book (I very much enjoyed The Assassination of Jesse James).
As for roles: Gandolfini will reportedly play an alcoholic hit man brought in for a job, while Curatola will reportedly play a middle-aged man fresh out of prison, looking for revenge on those who put him away (a far departure from his role as Sack, right? :-P). One can only hope that the Sopranos alums get to share the screen again, if only briefly.
In other Cogan's Trade casting news that we might have missed: Academy Award-nominated actor Richard Jenkins (Let Me In) has joined the film as a lawyer who spills inside info on the card game that Cogan is investigating. Mark Ruffalo has also been attached to the movie, and there are long-standing rumors that Jesse James star Casey Affleck will follow Pitt, Rockwell and Dominick to Cogan's Trade as well.
A quick survey of the Cogan's Trade IMDb page also raises some new casting questions: Monsters star Scoot McNairy, Javier Bardem and recent Dark Shadows casting addition Bella Heathcote are all listed as part of the Cogan's Trade cast, though we have yet to confirm their involvement and/or who they would be playing, respectively.
For now, having Gandolfini and Curatola onboard is pretty sweet, and when taken in conjunction with names like Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins, this film is quickly becoming one of those movies to keep your eye on.
Cogan's Trade is currently slated for release in 2012. We'll keep you updated about any new casting news.