SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Wednesday July 26, 2017 – The struggling Puerto Rican economy stands to benefit from a huge injection of cash as the shooting location for Cigarette, the story of the man behind the now-infamous cigarette boats favoured by drug traffickers for their speed and reliability.
The movie, which was previously being filmed under the title ‘Speed Kills’, stars John Travolta as Ben Aronoff, a thinly-veiled version of Cigarette founder Don Aronow.
The Brooklyn-born millionaire custom-built speedboats for the rich and famous, from US President George W Bush to the Shah of Iran, but got mixed up with drug lords and was murdered in 1987.
Travolta, a two-time Oscar nominee, was pictured driving a cigarette boat on the Puerto Rican set of the crime-thriller last week, and has also been seen on the dock and at various other locations on the island.
Director John Luessenhop (Texas Chainsaw, 3D, Takers) is helming the fictionalized biopic, which also stars Kellan Lutz, Matthew Modine, James Remar, NCIS star Jennifer Esposito, and Katheryn Winnick.
Saban Films has acquired the US distribution rights from Hannibal Classics for Cigarette, which as yet has no release date, according to a Screen Daily report.
Travolta, 63, who sang and danced his way into stardom in such teen flicks as Grease, has recently starred in a number of biopics including his title role in The Life and Death of John Gotti.
Kevin Connolly directed Lionsgate Premiere’s fully-authorized biopic on the Gambino crime family, which is reportedly due for release next month.