Despite the way it sounds, “Gang Leader for a Day” is not the name of a new reality show.
Paramount Vantage has optioned the Sudhir Venkatesh-penned book and set Craig Brewer (“Hustle and Flow”) to direct reports Variety.
“Sopranos” scribe Michael Caleo will adapt the story of Columbia University professor Venkatesh, who spent years chronicling a crack-dealing gang in Chicago for a research project.
He befriended the Black Kings and their leader, and was invited to observe them close up. Venkatesh found a close-knit group whose corporate culture was much like that of a successful legitimate business.
Venkatesh was given the job of calling the shots of the criminal enterprise for a day. His adventure was first chronicled in the book “Freakonomics” which is being turned into a multi-directed documentary.