Al Capone and Elliot Ness will once again battle as Deadline reports that Showtime is developing Scarface and the Untouchable, a series lawman Ness’ crusade to bring down infamous gangster Capone in Prohibition-era Chicago. The series comes from producer Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Picard) and writer Ben Jacoby (Newsflash).
Scarface and the Untouchable will be based on Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago, a 2018 nonfiction book from Max Allen Collins and A. Brad Schwartz which chronicled the lives of Capone and Ness, which was named Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Public Library. The synopsis for the book drew on “decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves.”
The series will follow “prohibition-era politics, industrialization, mass media, the immigrant experience, law enforcement and the birth of organized crime. It will span from the roaring ’20s into the Great Depression, from South Side slums all the way up to the White House. It will show how Al Capone corporatized crime on a level never before imagined, and how Eliot Ness, one of the most revolutionary cops in American history, fought an uphill battle to reform law enforcement, a battle that continues to this day.”
Jacoby will write the series and executive produce alongside Kurtzman and his Secret Hideout partners Heather Kadin and Aaron Baiers. CBS Studios will also produce with Alan Gasmer, Bob Bookman, Peter Jaysen and Bill Nuss.
The battle between Ness and Capone has been popularized in as one of the defining criminal cases in American history. The story of Capone’s downfall has been adapted many times through books, film and television, such as the final season of Boardwalk Empire and the Tom Hardy-led film Capone, but most prominently in Brian De Palma’s 1987 classic The Untouchables, which saw Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness and Robert De Niro as Al Capone. The film also earned the late Sean Connery an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Jim Malone, Ness’ mentor who taught Ness how things were really run in Chicago.