Assuming you glanced at a paper or watched a little news last week, you're probably familiar with Louis Eppolito, though you might not know his name. Eppolito is the mega-decorated NYPD cop who, along with his long-time partner, was found guilty on Thursday of a whole lot of non-cop behavior, including killing people, selling drugs, and laundering money. (You also might know him because he did a little acting, mostly playing heavies and mobsters, ironically enough.) Not wanting to let someone else scoop up the rights to a story that has Great Movie! written all over it, Mandalay Pictures has Mafia Cop on the road to production, with a screenwriter and Eppolito's life-rights already secured. In addition, Mandalay also holds the rights to Eppolito's (lie-filled) autobiography, Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob (so-named because he's the son of a member of the Gambino crime family).

While it's a little sick to have the movie already on the way (What is this, Law & Order?), it's hard to blame studio heads for salivating. A kid grows up in one of the country's most famous crime families, and becomes the 11th most-decorated cop in the history of the NYPD? I mean, that's a great story by itself -- and then the guy turns out to be corrupt? You can't write stuff this good. And, with The Hurricane screenwriter Dan Gordon (who attended Eppolito's trial) on board, Mandalay's hired a guy who's familiar with the reality-to-movie transition, which can't hurt. Me, I've got visions of Goodfellas dancing in my head (as, I'm sure, do the folks at Mandalay).

[Photo by the AP]