General Hospital star Maurice Benard has been playing fictional Port Charles mobster Sonny Corinthos since 1993, and he's about to put those near 30 years of experience to good use: he has been cast as real-life mobster Michael Spilotro in the new feature film The Legitimate Wiseguy.
Based on an original screenplay by veteran writer/director Nicholas Celozzi, the gangster flick tells the true story of Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro (Paul Ben-Victor), one of the most feared enforcers to come out of the Chicago Outfit, a notorious crime syndicate that rose to power in the 1920s under Al Capone. In the '70s and '80s, Spilotro ran the outfit's casino-skimming operations in Las Vegas, where he met a young man dreaming of becoming a Hollywood actor. Seeing an opportunity to expand his operation, he mentored the aspiring actor and eventually lured him into his criminal web.
Benard's Michael is Anthony's brother, with whom he formed the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a group of experienced thieves, safecrackers, and killers who would gain access to the locations they burglarized by drilling through the exterior walls and ceilings.
Days of our Lives alum Patrick Muldoon will also star in The Legitimate Wiseguy as a character named Adam Knight, while Harvey Keitel will play Nick Celozzi Sr., Emile Hirsch will play Nick Celozzi Jr., and Ruby Rose will play Lisa.
"We are excited about this ensemble cast," says Brian O'Shea, CEO of The Exchange, which is handling worldwide sales. "Having Harvey, Emile, and Ruby makes this exciting story valuable to global distributors."
Production on The Legitimate Wiseguy isn't slated to begin until later this spring, so there's no word yet on how Benard's part in the film might affect his role as GH's Sonny. The actor has appeared in several other projects while simultaneously starring on the ABC soap opera, including starring as John Gotti in the Lifetime film Victoria Gotti: My Father's Daughter, so depending on the filming schedule, it might not affect his time in Port Charles.
Patrick Muldoon hasn't appeared as DAYS' Austin Reed since 2012, but he's been quite busy elsewhere. His recent credits include Timecrafters: The Treasure of Pirate's Cove and The Comeback Trail, the latter of which he executive produced and starred in alongside Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Morgan Freeman.
It's been a busy week for past and present soap stars landing non-soap roles: Multi-soap vet A. Martinez will star in the Michael Bay action film Ambulance; Y&R alum Sofia Pernas landed a role in the ABC comedy pilot Adopted; All My Children's Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut with the film Creed III; and B&B's Gina Rodriguez has not one but two upcoming Netflix projects.
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