Leonardo DiCaprio Set to Play Hero Cop Joe Petrosino

The film will chronicle the icon's unprecedented fight against early-1900s organized crime in NYC.

Gutsy would be one way to describe NYPD hero cop Joe Petrosino.

Pioneer would be another: He was the first policeman to rattle organized crime in early-1900s New York City with techniques he developed that are still in effect today.

“In Little Italy, during the turn of the century, you could hear bombs being blown up almost every single day. And the one policeman who was standing up against all of this was Joe Petrosino, Giuseppe Petrosino,” said Joseph Scelsa, of the Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino Association, to abc7ny.com.

Tragically, Petrosino was murdered in 1909, most likely by the “Black Hand,” an extortionist gang known for its ruthless exploitation of Italian-American immigrants.

Now more than a century later, Leonardo DiCaprio will bring the fearless Italian-American detective back to the headlines and onto the big screen in “The Black Hand,” according to imdb.com.

The story goes, Petrosino was massing evidence against organized crime figures in order to deport them; however, while following up on a lead, he was shot dead by gunmen in Sicily at the age of 48.

More than 200,000 New Yorkers joined the funeral procession. Not long after a public outcry ensued, resulting in the downfall of two high profile and corrupt police commissioners in the summer of 1909, per Wikipedia.com.

DiCaprio has announced a 2018 release date for the film, based on Stephan Talty’s book, The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History.

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