Goodfella, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver Robert DeNiro is reportedly attached to star in The Winter of Frankie Machine. Brian Koppelman and David Levien are writing the adaptation of Don Winslow's novel; they wrote the poker classic Rounders, as well as the upcoming Ocean's Thirteen. Frankie Machine is about a former mob hitman/Vietnam vet who has put his gangster days behind him and now spends his time surfing when he's not busy operating a linen service, a seafood company, and a bait shop. And for two hours, he sells worms to fishermen and his past never comes back to haunt him? Of course not! When the son of a mob boss asks for Frankie's help in settling a dispute with another mobster, Frankie agrees. But soon he finds he's been set up and is next on the hit list. The story is said to deal with both Frankie's current adventure and also with him trying to figure out what in his past got him into trouble.

The Latino Review has the story here and a script review here. The reviewer calls it "the leanest, tightest script I read so far this year," and "a masterpiece," adding a little something you never heard from Pauline Kael: "The shit is hot." This does sound like a really cool story, and the book has earned several comparisons to Elmore Leonard's stuff, which is really all I need to hear to get on board. Sounds like a blast, and here's hoping it's got a touch of black humor to it, all of the best mob stories do. I don't need to see DeNiro in a wet suit surfing while firing a machine gun, but with this premise, it sounds like there's a lot of potential for some dark laughs. Regardless of how it turns out, I think we can all agree that it's got a pretty badass title. Color me interested in this one!