Madonna is set to take up the production reins of a new film based on the life of her old flame – who also happens to be a former mobster.

Reports claim that the 48-year-old singer wants to put the story of ex-New York gangster Chris Paciello on the silver screen through her Maverick film company.

According to the Sun, Hollywood stars such as Mark Wahlberg and John Cusack are being lined up to play him.

Paciello, who wooed Madonna in the early 1990s, served time in a US prison after a woman was killed during a botched robbery.

But the tabloid adds that Madonna's film director husband Guy Ritchie, who made his name with Brit gangster films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, is not keen on the project.

"[Paciello] led Madonna astray in 1992/93 and most of her friends were unhappy about their relationship at the time," a source told the Sun.

"She has met him three times to thrash out a deal — first when she went to LA for the Academy awards, then twice in New York, including her most recent trip there last month.

"There's no romance. She has always been fascinated by tough guys and loves his story."

21/07/2007 23:48:50