Chiwetel Ejiofor's life of crime

Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington are currently working away on American Gangster, the 1970s crime drama that’s shooting in New York.

Gangster is based on the life of drug kingpin-turned-police informant Frank Lucas (Washington), who hatched a crafty plan to ship heroin into the States hidden in the coffins of dead soldiers returning from Vietnam. Narcotics cop Richie Roberts eventually collared him, and then worked with Lucas to expose crooked police officers and the overseas merchants involved.

And the film has steadily been drawing in a truckload of other thesps to join the powerhouse pair. The latest joining the cast is Chiwetel Ejiofor, who last starred with Washington in Inside Man and is now joining him on the other side of the law to play his brother, an associate in his drug empire.

Also on board are Josh Brolin, who plays the dodgy detective Trupo, a seriously bent copper who figures he can use Lucas’ capture to his own financial gain; rapper RZA, who will play a police surveillance expert and John Ortiz, appearing as Crowe’s undercover partner who succumbs to addiction and eventually ends up a murderer.

The list doesn’t stop there. Sin City’s Carla Gugino, Deadwood and Miami Vice thesp John Hawkes, Silence Of The Lambs’ Ted Levine and musos TI and Common have also signed on.

With Steve Zaillian’s name on the script and Brian Grazer producing, this is truly turning into one to look out for next year.

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