O.J. Simpson has been captivating audiences for 50 years.
From USC, to Buffalo, to Hertz commercials, to movie roles, to sideline reporting, to the Bronco chase, O.J. has garnered constant attention.
People loved him. Then they loved to hate him after it became obvious he committed a double murder and got off scot-free.
The popularity of FX’s limited series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” and Ezra Edelman’s documentary “O.J.: Made In America” proves O.J. is as relevant and ghoulishly infamous as ever.
Now O.J.’s twisted tale of deceit and narcissism run amok may spawn a feature film.
One of O.J.’s accomplices in the armed robbery that landed him in prison is pushing to have his tell-all book adapted into a movie.
From the New York Daily News:
O.J. Simpson has been in prison for nearly a decade, yet the disgraced actor, athlete and convict remains a hot entertainment property.
Following on the heels of the FX hit “The People v.s. O.J. Simpson,” Tom Riccio, the man who aided Simpson in the armed robbery of a memorabilia dealer in 2007, is making a movie about the failed caper that landed the football star in prison.
“My book is currently being turned into a screenplay with a view of it being a TV series on a network or film,” says Riccio, speaking about his 2008 book “Busted!” “There has been a lot of interest from producers and studios about adapting that story into something with all that has happened in the last couple of years.”
In “Busted!” Riccio recalls the September day when he, Simpson and a handful of accomplices stormed into another collector’s room in the Nevada Palace Station hotel and stole sports memorabilia that Simpson claimed belonged to him. The former football star was arrested two days later and sentenced to 33 years in prison. He’s up for parole on July 20 and could be freed as early as Oct. 1.
“The success of the Travolta show (“The People v.s. O.J. Simpson”), proved that anything about O.J. is just captivating viewing — and this story is no different,” Riccio told us from his L.A. home by phone. “My story is just as crazy as the other show. A mild confrontation turned into a kidnapping and an armed robbery leading to him being in prison.”
Riccio himself has a criminal history that could make for a mini-series. The Smoking Gun first reported in 2007 that he’d been convicted of four felonies and spent eight years in prison before hooking up with The Juice.
“The case and players around O.J.’s conviction is so intriguing,” he said. “I feel there is enough color to make a real hit.”
Ideally, Riccio says he’d like to see Denzel Washington play Simpson while Vince Vaughn portrays him.
Riccio isn’t betting on whether Simpson will be granted parole.
“It’s 50/50 on him being released,” he said. “It will not shock me either way what happens next.”
O.J. craves the spotlight–he did radio interviews and even appeared in a bizarre rap video after his acquittal and exile from Brentwood–so he probably doesn’t hate the idea of a movie about himself, even if it is a hit piece.
Riccio is undoubtedly an unsavory character who will likely play fast and loose with the facts, but if the movie ever gets made, O.J. has a clear track record of attracting eyeballs.
However, Riccio may have to set his sights lower than Denzel Washington and Vince Vaughn.