EXCLUSIVE: Film is based on the real-life story of the NYPD detetcive who first uncovered the Vatican Bank’s links to the Mafia.

Michael Winterbottom is to direct The Vatican Connection about the real-life story of the NYPD detective who first uncovered the Vatican Bank’s links to the Mafia in the 1970s.

Detective Joe Coffey was working undercover in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, tailing a vicious local mobster, when he stumbled upon information linking the Vatican Bank and the Mafia.

His global investigation – taking him from New York to Munich, London and Rome - revealed that Vatican Bank president Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was working with the Mafia to hide losses incurred by the institution as it financed anti-Communist missions in central America.

Through intermediaries Archbishop Marcinkus had the Genovese Crime Family of New York manufacture and supply the  Vatican Bank with $6 billion dollars of counterfeit blue chip bonds from major US corporations.

Winterbottom will work with Face of an Angel screenwriter, Paul Viragh to revise an original screenplay by Alessandro Camon based on Richard Hammer’s award-winning book The Vatican Connection. The production is aiming for major “A” list talent to play Coffey. 

Producers are John Penotti of Ivanhoe Pictures, Chris Hanley of Muse Productions, Jeff Most of Most Films, Melissa Parmenter of Revolution Films and Bob DeBrino.

The film’s executive producers are Edward R. Pressman and Jordan Gertner.