In an amazing example of “things happen when the time is right,” the film “Made in Chinatown” bends film genres and has gained insurmountable steam before a single scene has been shot. Not only that, but it’s stacked with seven actors from the smash hit TV series, “The Sopranos,” including: Tony Sirico, Tony Darrow, Vincent Pastore, Tony Ray Rossi, Maureen Van Zandt, Artie Pasquale and Paul Borghese. Mark V. Wiley, the film’s Executive Producer and Writer, is amazed by the reception the film is receiving among so many iconic actors.
“Every day we get calls from actors and agents, asking if there are any open parts in the film. This is crazy, I’m flabbergasted,” Wiley states, “because for almost 20 years I couldn’t get anyone to give two cannolli’s about it. Those I did convince to read the script didn’t understand it. It was mind-boggling but things happen for a reason, and here we are in 2018 about to go into production with an amazing cast of 50 unbelievable actors! The entire crew of producers, cast and crew LOVE the premise and how the story unfolds.”
In New York City, Canal Street divides Little Italy and Chinatown, and a bridge separates Manhattan from Brooklyn. But this doesn’t stop a turf war from erupting among Italian and Chinese organized crime syndicates. There’s Al Capella, Manhattan mob boss, Amador Condimento, Brooklyn mob boss, and Hung Phat, Chinatown Triad boss.
They’re all involved in the illegal condiments trade in New York. The illegal trafficking of oils, spices, and herbs has been around for centuries, begun by the great Italian explorer Marco Polo—and its very serious business for these crime families. Recently, they’ve been trying to move in on each other’s turf and tensions are high. And when a Chinese guy starts poking around and tries to join the MOB to get the love of an Italian girl and a little respect in the neighborhood, the double-crossing begins.
Wiley got the idea for the film in 1999 and began writing scenes. It took about 10 years to work out a plausible story, he says, because he wanted it to be a comedy with a heart at its center. “There needed to be a soulful center and it could’t be too dark. I wanted it to be funny and full of action, but in a way that made people see a clash of cultures in a way they may not have considered before.” And while the story focuses on contrasting New York’s Italian and Chinese cultures, it never plays into stereotype. In fact, every would-be stereotype is purposely and precisely turned on its side in a way that shows just how “American” we all are.
Tony Sirico (“The Sopranos,” Goodfellas, Mighty Aphrodite) plays The DON of Dons, Vincenzo Cento from Sicili. He is forced to make a trip to New York to set things straight between Little Italy MOB Boss, Al Capella, and Brooklyn MOB Boss, Amadore Condimento. But can he pull these fractioned families together? Will there be a cog in the wheel that tuns the tide? Wait and see!
Tony Darrow (Goodfellas, Bullets Over Broadway, Analyze This), plays Al Capella, the sharply dressed, street-smart MOB Boss who runs Manhattan’s Little Italy with a tight fist. He’s been in business so long because he knows how to make deals and when to break them. Capella is at war with Condimento for control of NY. He thinks the Chinese guy “Vinny” Chow is working for Hung Phat and sends him several messages before things get out of hand and the city is turned upside down.
Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos,” Goodfellas, Carlito’s Way) plays Condimento, the has-been fight promoter turned Brooklyn MOB boss. He’s not as successful as Capella and is beholden to him for getting out of the fight business and into the spice racket. His HQ is an old boxing gym and the sweaty fighters sit on boxes of product because he can’t afford a warehouse. He’s trying to take over Capella’s territory, but keeps stumbling until he has a brilliant idea. This “idea” coincides with Vinny Chow’s desires but ends up backfiring in numerous hilarious ways.
Tony Ray Rossi (“The Sopranos,” Donny Brasco, Analyze This) plays Fountain Soda Eddie, Under Boss of Amadore Condimento. He is also the uncle of Joey Risotto, “Vinny” Chow’s best friend. Eddie is responsible for making sure every restaurant and shop in Brooklyn keeps their fountain soda syrups in overstock. He’s a bully who demands respect and is pivotal in getting Vinny to do the MOB’s dirty work under the guise of a Hung Phat double cross.
The lovely and talented Maureen Van Zandt (“The Sopranos,” “Lilyhammer”) plays Mrs. DiPocco, mother of Tina, the neighborhood hottie that “Vinny” Chow desires but can’t get because he’s not ” Made. She is a neighborhood mom who is direct, unimpressed and enjoys thumbing through lingerie catalogs… just in case she has a gentleman caller.
Artie Pasquale (“The Sopranos,” American Fango, The Brooklyn Banker), plays Felone, a Brooklyn shop owner whose clerks bought product from Manhattan and now he faces Boss Condimento to explain himself and receive his punishment.
Paul Borghese (Back in the Day, “Law & Order: SVU,” Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn), plays Al Capella’s Little Italy underboss Frankie, overseeing Paulie and Danny Boy. He’s smart, funny, and gets a little overexcited at times. Will he jeopardize the MOB while trying to take down the Triad? Wait and see… Fuhgeddaboudit.
Made in Chinatown is set to begin filming in New York and Philadelphia on June 29, 2018. It’s all-star cast also includes the great Raymond J. Barry, Josoph D’Onofrio, stand-up comedians Goumba Johnny Sialiano and Jeff “Fat Rat Bastard” Pirrami. The Asian cast is jam packed with kung-fu film legends Lo Meng, Hwang Jang Lee, James Lew, Tak Wah Eng and the great Shuya Chang, Karen Tsen Lee, Patricia Lee Chu, Fenton Li, Geoff Lee, Shing Ka, Greg Lee, and many others.
Stuntman and actor Jay Kwon is set to star in this first-ever Mafia-Kung-fu Action-Comedy, directed by Art Camacho, co-directed by Bobby Samuels with Emmy winning Action Coordinator James Lew!
“Made in Chinatown” is produced by Tambuli Films, in association with R4 Films and Nine East productions, is set for a “first look” at HBO on November 9, 2018 where two of it’s Asian action stars will receive “Lifetime Achievement Awards,” presented by the Writer/Exec Producer and Director; followed on November 10 with a full Showcase Screening at AMC Times Square in NYC at the HBO / Cinemax Urban Action Showcase with many of the film’s stars in attendance, followed the next week with a Showcase and Q&A at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. “Made in Chinatown” has already been covered several times by the Film Combat Syndicate and in The Hollywood Reporter.
For Distribution or Investment Opportunities, contact Executive Producer Mark V. Wiley at [email protected].