Showtime is developing a new series based on Max Allen Collins and A. Brad Schwartz’s nonfiction novel Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago.
Scarface and the Untouchable chronicles the lives of gangster Al Capone and Eliot Ness, his nemesis, and lawman in Prohibition-era Chicago. It’s described as,
“the new definitive history of gangster-era Chicago,” the book “draws upon decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves.”
The series will dive into,
“prohibition-era politics, industrialization, mass media, the immigrant experience, law enforcement and the birth of organized crime. It will span from the roaring ’20s into the Great Depression, from South Side slums all the way up to the White House. It will show how Al Capone corporatized crime on a level never before imagined, and how Eliot Ness, one of the most revolutionary cops in American history, fought an uphill battle to reform law enforcement, a battle that continues to this day.”
Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, run by Heather Kadin, and CBS Studios are producing the project, which is being written by Ben Jacoby.
This true crime story has been told many times in many forms of entertainment and was made widely popular by the film ‘The Untouchables’, which starred Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and was directed by Brian De Palma.
Here’s the full description from the book:
In 1929, thirty-year-old gangster Al Capone ruled both Chicago’s underworld and its corrupt government. To a public who scorned Prohibition, “Scarface” became a local hero and national celebrity. But after the brutal St. Valentine’s Day Massacre transformed Capone into “Public Enemy Number One,” the federal government found an unlikely new hero in a twenty-seven-year-old Prohibition agent named Eliot Ness. Chosen to head the legendary law enforcement team known as “The Untouchables,” Ness set his sights on crippling Capone’s criminal empire.
Today, no underworld figure is more iconic than Al Capone and no lawman as renowned as Eliot Ness. Yet in 2016 the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Al Capone still awaits the biographer who can fully untangle, and balance, the complexities of his life,” while revisionist historians have continued to misrepresent Ness and his remarkable career.
Enter Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz, a unique and vibrant writing team combining the narrative skill of a master novelist with the scholarly rigor of a trained historian. Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the gangster classic Road to Perdition. Schwartz is a rising-star historian whose work anticipated the fake-news phenomenon.
The novel used decades of primary source research and personal files of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files and crime magazines that include interviews with the members of the crime family and the lawmen as well.