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Comic gangster flicks are in the works

Danny DeVito and Quentin Tarantino have new movies on the way

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Are Quentin Tarantino and Danny DeVito the godfathers of comic gangster flicks? So it seems. Trafficking in Elmore Leonard novels is brisk, and Pulp wunderkind Tarantino and DeVito (coproducer on both Pulp and Get Shorty) are in the thick of it. Tarantino already got Miramax to claim Leonard’s novels Bandit, Freaky Deaky, Killshot, and Rum Punch. And since Leonard has nixed any Get Shorty 2, DeVito and director Barry Sonnenfeld commandeered his August book Out of Sight for Universal. The two haven’t cornered the market on outlandish capers, however. Larry Bishop’s fall noir comedy Trigger Happy — a steal for MGM at $5.3 million — is being touted as The Player 2. Bishop, son of Rat Pack comic Joey, cast half of Hollywood, including his dad, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne, Rob Reiner, Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Richard Pryor, and Billy Idol. MGM plans more amusing thuggery: The studio wants Murder One‘s Stanley Tucci, who cowrote the Sundance smash Big Night, to pen Call Me a Cop, in which crooks disguised as policemen end up cracking some cases while planning a heist. Forget what you’ve heard: Crime pays.