Bidding War Erupts Over Cuban Mafia Book ‘The Corporation’ (Exclusive)

Paramount’s bid has Benicio del Toro attached to star, while Oscar Isaac is part of WB’s bid

Last Updated: April 7, 2016 @ 4:57 PM

A Hollywood bidding war is under way for a nonfiction book about the Cuban mafia titled “The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld” that was written by best-selling author T.J. English, multiple individuals familiar with the situation have told TheWrap.

Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. are among the studios putting in bids featuring A-list packages. Other entities are believed to be in the mix for the red-hot book, which centers on the Corporation’s founder, Jose Miguel Battle Sr., who died in 2007. The book will be published in winter 2017 by William Morrow.

Warner Bros.’ offer comes with Oscar Isaac attached to star and David Heyman‘s Heyday Films producing alongside Brett Ratner and James Packer‘s RatPac Entertainment. Isaac and his manager Jason Spire of Inspire Entertainment would also produce under this scenario.

Paramount’s offer comes with Benicio del Toro attached to star and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way banner producing.

Sony’s offer comes with Paul Greengrass attached to direct and Scott Rudin producing with Amy Pascal.

Paradigm is selling the book rights; its clients Jaydee Freixas and Tony Gonzalez hold the rights and are attached to produce.

The book chronicles the unique, untold American gangster story of Battle, the leader of the Corporation, who was also known as El Padrino or the Godfather. He was Fulgencio Batista’s bag man, bringing the Cuban dictator his cut from the gambling casinos when the Mafia ran Cuba. Battle escaped to the States, where he and other Cubans were trained by the CIA to invade the country in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.

Having saved the lives of 28 of his men, the Godfather came out of that debacle as a certified hero to many Cuban-Americans. The core of the gang was trained as a unit and together formed the Corporation. They started out running the popular numbers racket, known as “bolita,” but soon moved on to money laundering and murder.

Battle and his associates never gave up the dream of killing Castro and reclaiming Cuba; they became financiers of the anti-Castro movement by funding paramilitary groups such as the Contras, Omega 7 and Alpha 66. The Corporation would survive and grow until finally being brought down by a detective who pursued them relentlessly for over 15 years.

The story of the Corporation is not only the story of a unique criminal enterprise, but also the story of a generation and a culture defining itself through a brutal version of the American experience.