Crime saga "Irishman" nabs Walken, Kilmer

Wed May 6, 2009 11:33pm EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer will play the leads in "The Irishman," which is based on the real story of mobster Danny Greene.

Greene was a violent Irish-American gangster who competed with the Italian mob in 1970s Cleveland and ended up provoking a countrywide turf war that crippled the Mafia. Stevenson will play Greene. Walken will play the loan shark and nightclub owner Shondor Birns, and Kilmer is cast as a Cleveland police detective who befriends Greene.

Jonathan Hensleigh, who co-wrote and directed "The Punisher," will direct the action film. He and Jeremy Walters ("Dali") wrote the screenplay, which is inspired by the book "To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia" by Rick Porrello. Code Entertainment is producing the film.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

<p>Actor Christopher Walken arrives for a Film Society Gala Tribute to honor actor Tom Hanks with the Chaplin Award in New York, April 27, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>