After acquiring the rights to the story of the Colombo crime family’s second-in-command’s son, John Franzese Jr, The Oscar-nominated producer of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, David Permut, can tell what I’m sure will be an interesting story.
“Sonny” Franzese Sr. Recently passed away at the age of 103.
Since the 1980s, Franzese Jr was heavily involved in the family business and a life of excess. This led to drug addiction and eventually being kicked out of the family and living on the streets.
Witness Protection Program
Through the help of a 12-step program, Franzese Jr realized that the only way to finally become free from his past is to face it head-on. He eventually was accepted into the witness protection program and came clean to the FBI about all his past criminal activities. He also ratted out his former consiglieres and his own father. He was the first New York mobster’s son to testify against his father.
Franzese Jr’s testimony all but ensured his father was found guilty and in 2011, “Sonny” Franzese Sr. was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
After living for a while in Indianapolis under the witness protection program, Franzese Jr decided to leave the protection of the program to try and find a way to reconcile with his father. In 2019, he finally did.
“With the canvas of Sonny’s reign within the Colombo crime family, and the complexity of this father-son relationship, the betrayal and ultimate reconciliation is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Permut, “While there have been great mob movies in cinematic history, there has never been one quite like this.”
Permut is still searching for a screenwriter and /or filmmaker to keep this project moving forward.