Posted: Tue., Apr. 17, 2007, 8:00pm
By MICHAEL FLEMING
Dick Wolf and NBC Universal will use the investigation of New York City cops Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito as the basis for a TV series.
Three feature films are also in development about the rogue cops who were convicted of moonlighting as murderers for an organized crime family.
Wolf and the studio acquired screen rights to “The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia,” by Guy Lawson and William Oldham. Oldham once worked as a cop alongside Caracappa, and years later was appalled that he and his partner, Eppolito (whose father and grandfather were Gambino crime family soldiers), were never properly investigated after a turncoat Lucchese underboss fingered them as paid mob employees.
Getting nowhere with NYPD bosses who seemed to want the situation to just go away, Oldham became a special investigator for the U.S. Attorney’s Brooklyn office and assembled a team of investigators, who found enough evidence to arrest the cops after they’d retired to a gated community in Las Vegas.
Tom Thayer will be a producer on the project. He’s an exec producer on Wolf’s upcoming mini, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” It is unclear whether the book will be used to create a fourth “Law & Order” or stand on its own as a drama about the investigations unit that could use the dirty cop case as its pilot.
“We are very excited about this project,” Wolf said in a statement. “It contains a unique franchise that could be taken in a multitude of directions.”
Three movies are in the works based on Caracappa and Eppolito. Spring Creek’s Paula Weinstein is developing a film based on Tommy Dades, a retired detective who was a key cog in the investigation; “Training Day” scribe David Ayer is rewriting Dan Gordon’s original script for “Mafia Cop,” which Ayer will direct for Mandalay and Universal; and “Goodfellas” scribe Nick Pileggi is writing a fictionalized drama based on the case for Irwin Winkler and Columbia..