Coming off an Oscar nomination for his work as an aged Rocky Balboa in Creed, Sylvester Stallone likely has his pick of what project to take on next. For a while, it looked like Stallone would be a major part of the upcoming FOX TV series based on the Rambo franchise, although reps for the actor eventually quashed that notion.
However, according to a new report, Stallone is still headed to the small-screen soon – with the action legend set to to step into the shoes of a mob boss in new crime drama series, Omerta. Based on the second-to-last – posthumously published – novel by The Godfather author Mario Puzo, Omerta follows the journey of powerful but aging mafia don Raymonde Aprile and his hand-picked successor Astorre Viola.
Deadline is reporting that Stallone will play Aprile in the Omerta TV show, with the role of Viola still yet to be cast. Omerta is being designed as a limited event series, and will be fully financed by the Weinstein Company, who bought the film rights to Puzo’s book a decade ago only to see the project fail to come together as a feature film. The script for Omerta’s pilot episode is already written, with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven) onboard to direct.
With big names like Stallone, Fuqua, and Puzo attached, the Weinsteins are expecting to land a full series commitment when they shop the project around to different networks shortly, and it’s hard to imagine that not happening. Stallone’s involvement should especially be attractive to potential buyers, with the Expendables star having not ever made anything beyond a guest appearance on television before. The fact that Omerta is a drama series based on a Puzo novel is also a huge selling point, as the enduring legacy of The Godfather franchise has long cemented the idea that the author is a master of organized crime stories.
That said, Puzo’s Omerta received fairly mixed reviews upon its 2000 publication, with even those who enjoyed the novel saying that it didn’t touch The Godfather’s greatness. With that in mind, one wonders whether the writing team behind Omerta the series will make it their mission to try and correct the flawed elements of the novel before bringing it to the screen. Notably, Omerta is in no way connected to the narrative or characters of The Godfather books, and is in fact a completely standalone narrative from the rest of Puzo’s mostly mafia-centered work. Here’s hoping the final product lives up to his vaunted reputation.
Omerta is in development, and has no current premiere date.
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