According to Variety, Columbia Pictures has set Nick Pileggi to write and Irwin Winkler to produce A Cop Between, a fictional drama about a Gotham police officer who's drawn into the world of organized crime.

The subject is close to a true-crime story that numerous producers and studios are trying to commandeer.

Based on an idea by Pileggi, the Columbia drama will center on a cop who grows up in a mob family and joins the New York City police force. He gets seduced into compromising his integrity and badge and tries to save a childhood friend from getting murdered in a mob war.

Pileggi's fictional script will let Columbia make a mafia cop movie while not having to join a ferocious bidding war for principals involved in a case that has captivated New York. At the center is retired cop Louis Eppolito, who grew up in a mob family with a father nicknamed Fat the Gangster and an uncle known as Jimmy the Clam. Eppolito and his ex-partner, Stephen Caracappa, were charged with moonlighting as mafia hit men and allegedly involved in at least eight murders.

Numerous suitors are trying to get a piece of a Gotham cop corruption story. Universal, with Tribeca and Mandalay, has targeted the rights of Eppolito and Caracappa. Studio is trying to buy "Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob," a 1992 memoir by Eppolito. Though its heroic premise has been rendered obsolete, the book gives a possible venue for the studio to enrich the defendant without violating Son of Sam laws.

The cops had long been retired and their alleged misdeeds forgotten until detective Tommy Dades turned over his files to the DEA and the Brooklyn district attorney's office, and helped head up an investigation. Though he retired shortly after, Dades has become the most sought-after subject by rights holders.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.