PREVIEW – Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in AMERICAN GANGSTER

Based on a searing article chronicling the rise and fall of real-life heroin dealer Frank Lucas, we at Behind The Scenes cannot wait for this adrenaline tizzy to the system. A powerhouse director (Ridley Scott) and two of the most exciting actors working today (Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe) are on the marquee. American Gangster is the story of Lucas, played by Washington, who at one point in the seventies was the biggest heroin dealer in Harlem.  The story charts his rise on the streets of Harlem and crescendoes with a ploy to smuggle heroin out of South East Asia in soldiers’ coffins. Sold right there. 


American Gangster has had a storied past. It almost went into production in a previous incarnation a couple of years ago with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and Washington and Benicio Del Toro starring before Universal pulled the plug on the movie. But the Steve Zaillan script had a staunch supporter in Washington and the project made its rounds again before attracting Crowe and Scott.

Crowe will play the detective pursuing Lucas. Scott has worked with Crowe in Gladiator and A Good Year. Both actors have worked together in the virtual sci-fi serial killer movie Virtuosity. That was before Crowe exploded with LA Confidential. The picture is currently slated for a November 2007 release. And the DVD we assume will have more than its share of stunning features since Scott is known to be a true lover of the form. And despite contrary opinions, there are no hard feelings spilling over from when Washington beat out Crowe for the Best Actor Oscar in Training Day back in 2002. Crowe was then nominated for A Beautiful Mind.


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