Tommy James Biopic ‘Me, the Mob and the Music’ in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety | 7/18/2019 | Dave McNary
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Pop music star Tommy James and film producer Barbara DeFina are developing the biopic “Me, the Mob and the Music,” based on James’ autobiography.

DeFina, whose credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” and “GoodFellas,” and James have tapped three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall to helm the film adaptation from a screenplay by Matthew Stone (“Intolerable Cruelty”).

James - Leader - Tommy - James - Shondells

James was the leader of Tommy James and the Shondells with No. 1 singles for “Hanky Panky” and “Crimson and Clover” along with a dozen other Top 40 hits, including “I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Mirage”, “Mony Mony”, “Sweet Cherry Wine”, and “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” He has sold an estimated 100 million records.

The book, co-written with Martin Fitzpatrick and published in 2011, centers on James’ years at Roulette Records and his complex and sometimes terrifying relationship with mobster Morris Levy, also known as the “Godfather of the Music Business.” Levy operated through payola and strong-arm tactics. Levy was convicted of extortion in 1990 and died after losing an appeal shortly before he was due to report to prison.

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Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Joan Jett, Prince, Tom Jones, Billy Idol, Kelly Clarkson and Cher have recorded covers of James songs, which have been in 60 movies and 53 TV show soundtracks. Currently, he...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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