Just the other day I was being dismissive of Sam Mendes, including his overly stately gangster film, Road to Perdition. There was some talk for a while about a sequel to that film (the comic its based on is part of a trilogy), but it seemed to fade away.

Then Paul Newman died. Okay, maybe that had nothing to do with the decision to make the next two books into films, but you have to wonder. At any rate, the next two films, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise, will be written and directed by Max Allan Collins, the guy who wrote the actual books.

Before you think that this will be another Maximum Overdrive, be aware that Collins has some directing experience… well, direct to DVD directing experience. Here’s a clip from an IMDB review of his opus Mommy: “[I]f you’re looking for something kind of campy which you can enjoy making fun of (in an MST3K kind of way) then you could do a lot worse than this.”

Here’s the full press release:


“Road to Perdition,” the Oscar-winning 2002 film directed by Sam Mendes that starred Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Daniel Craig and the late Paul Newman, is becoming a trilogy. The follow-up films are “Road to Purgatory” and “Road to Paradise.”  

“Road to Purgatory” will follow the character of Michael Sullivan, Jr., the son of Tom Hanks’ character in the original film, who returns from World War II with a new determination to avenge his murdered father. His quest ultimately leads him to Frank Nitti, whom he is urged to kill on the orders of Al Capone. The second sequel will follow Sullivan’s continued plight.

Pic will be helmed by Max Allan Collins, who has also penned the screenplay. Executive producer is Illinois-based Phillip W. Dingeldein.

“Perdition” was based on Collins’ graphic novel. 

Jeffrey B. Mallian’s JBM Production Company is producing with Joel Eisenberg and EMO Films. Mallian’s credits include “Over the Line,” “Leprechaun” and “Angel Eyes.” EMO Films recently wrapped the Columbine-themed “April Showers.” Upcoming projects include “Cage of Stars,” based on the New York Times Bestseller, and “Ghoulishly Yours, William M. Gaines,” a biopic of the titular comic book publisher, with John Landis.  Eisenberg is a partner in EMO Films, with Timothy Owens.   

“Road to Purgatory” will be dedicated to Paul Newman.

Honestly, I think that Collins will probably bring a better, more appropriate level of grit to his films. He won’t be trying for Oscars, at any rate.