Considering that Rocky Balboa is one of the most famous fictional Italians in all of pop-culture—right next to Super Mario and the Corleone family—it’s surprising that Sylvester Stallone hasn’t parlayed the Italian Stallion’s popularity into more mafia-type roles. He also hasn’t played too many pizza chefs, but we’re going to focus on mob movies for this article because he’s going to star in one now.

As reported by Deadline, Stallone has signed on to play the lead in Scarpa, a movie about former mafia hitman Gregory Scarpa. The film’s screenplay was written by Nicholas Pileggi, the writer behind mob movie classics Goodfellas and Casino. Martin Scorsese—who directed Goodfellas and Casino—apparently has something better to do than point a camera at Sylvester Stallone, so Runner Runner’s Brad Furman will direct Scarpa.


Deadline refers to the real Scarpa as “one of the best-known sociopaths in organized crime,” saying that he “boasted of 50 murders” over the course of his career as a mafia enforcer. Scarpa was called “The Grim Reaper,” “The Killing Machine,” and “The Mad Hatter,” which seems a bit excessive, but we’re not going to argue with a professional killer about how many nicknames one person can have, even if said professional killer died in prison 20 years ago.

The post also helpfully points out that “all Italians are not criminals, though you wouldn’t know it from the movies Hollywood puts out,” so it’s good that we’ve established that. Now we can all say we learned something about tolerance from this Newswire. Good for us.