For my 200th Post, I want to start a new Category for Cinemania! I will take a look at upcoming films for the year. Each year certain movies garner a lot of interest before they are even released. Some continue to keep the interest while others loose their fire before the film comes to the theaters. So for my first post of FIRST LOOK, we will take a look at the new Ridley Scott film, AMERICAN GANGSTER.
A drug lord smuggles heroin into Harlem during the 1970s by hiding the stash inside the coffins of American soldiers returning from Vietnam. Formerly titled “Tru”, American Gangster is a biopic of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas, played by Denzel Washinton. Lucas grew up in rural, segregated North Carolina where he watched as his cousin was shot by the Klan for looking at a white girl. In the early 1970s he became the biggest heroin dealer in Harlem with a smuggling scheme that imported heroin out of Southeast Asia in the caskets of dead Vietnam soldiers. He soon made upwards of one million dollars a day in drug sales. American Gangster centers on narcotics lawman Richie Roberts’, played by Russell Crowe, struggle to bring down Lucas, whose flamboyant style earned him the street name “Superfly”, and catching the crooked cops and drug dealers who profited from Lucas’s scheme.
American Gangster, first came on the scene in March of 2004 and was first titled The Return of Superfly, and initially was to be directed by Antoine Fuqua. Plans to film and produce were pulled in late 2004 and Ridley Scott brought it from the trash heap and soon cast Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Universal and Imagine pictures hired Steve Zaillian to re-write the film and production started soon after. According to IMDB the film is set for release in November 2007.