Producers Rick Singer and Irwin Shpiro sail ahead with "Noir Afloat"

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Producer Rick Singer, Irwin Shpiro, and James M. Vernon of Media Funds Management hire screenwriter John Sparano to adapt Ernest Marquez's, "Noir Afloat," as feature film.

Producers Irwin Shpiro and Rick Singer, having optioned the rights to noted Southern California historian Ernest Marquez’s account of the ship board gambling era off the Santa Monica coast, “Noir Afloat,” have hired screenwriter, John Sparano to adapt the book as a feature film.

Singer and Shpiro, along with financier James M. Vernon of Media Funds Management, have garnered sufficient interest in the project to move it into active development. Marquez’s book depicts Los Angeles in the twenties and thirties through Prohibition, organized crime, and the all but forgotten period in Southern California where gambling vessels operated off the Santa Monica coast just outside the law.

“Noir Afloat,” tells the true story of Tony Cornero, notorious bootlegger and organized crime front man, and his fleet of floating casinos, which were hugely popular with the people of 1930’s California. Considered a moral scourge by then Alameda County District Attorney Earl Warren, the clashing of their opposite passions fueled by money, murder, lavish gambling, entertainment activities reputable and disreputable, lead to confrontations in the courtroom and on the high seas.

Tony Cornero, who history cites as opening the first real casino in Las Vegas, later went on to open the mega successful Stardust Hotel in 1955. Earl Warren went on to be governor of California, Chief Justice of the United States, as well as chairing the infamous Warren Commission’s investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. During the golden age of movie stars, oil tycoons, real estate moguls, and ruthless gangsters, they shared a battlefield of public opinion, and a struggle that ultimately defined the Southern California lifestyle. As dedicated as Warren was to the destruction of the floating casino industry, Cornero was dedicated to it flourishing.

Singer, Shpiro, and Sparano are represented by Ralph Brescia of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP.

For more information contact: Rick Singer at ricksinger(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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John Sparano
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