‘The Trashers’ movie, about real brawling hockey team run by mob associate, filming in N.J. – NJ.com

David Harbour, left, stars as mob-connected waste management boss Jimmy Galante in "The Trashers." Cooper Hoffman, right, plays his teen son A.J., who manages their minor league hockey team.Dave Benett | Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy | Getty Images
A hockey team run by a teenager whose father is a mob-affiliated waste management boss?
And the kid’s name is A.J.?
It’s a story that seems designed for the screen, if not a subplot on “The Sopranos,” but this actually happened right here in the tri-state.
In 2004, Connecticut trash magnate Jimmy Galante gifted his son A.J. Galante a hockey team, and that team, the Danbury Trashers, became known for its skirmishes on the ice.
Cooper Raiff (”Cha Cha Real Smooth”) is director of the upcoming film “The Trashers,” starring “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and “Licorice Pizza” standout Cooper Hoffman.
This fall, Raiff will be committing the story to film in New Jersey.
A.J. Galante and James Galante in the 2021 Netflix documentary "Untold: Crime & Penalties." A.J. will also serve as a producer of "The Trashers."Netflix
Harbour is set to play Jimmy Galante and Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) will play his son, A.J. Galante. Olivia DeJonge, who plays Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s recently released “Elvis” movie, has also been cast in the film.
A.J. Galante served as general manager of the Trashers when he was just 17, and his father was the owner. (Hoffman, who will play A.J., is 19.)
The Trashers were part of the United Hockey League. The mascot: a hockey stick-holding trash can who outlasted the team, which went kaput in 2006.
Steven Gorelick, executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and TV Commission, tells NJ Advance Media that the commission is working with the production company behind “The Trashers” to find locations for filming. Deadline previously reported that 30West would be producing the film.
The Trashers, Jimmy Galante and A.J. Galante were also the subject of the Netflix documentary “Untold: Crime & Penalties,” which premiered in 2021.
“We were the bad boys of hockey,” A.J. says in the film. “A freak mix of pro wrestling and the Mighty Ducks.”
A.J. signed Brent Gretzky, younger brother of NHL superstar, Hockey Hall of Famer and former Rangers player Wayne Gretzky, to the team.
As The Atlantic recounts in a 2018 history of the Trashers, Jimmy Galante pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, tax fraud and wire fraud after he was arrested in 2006 and charged with 72 counts. The team’s short run came to an end with his arrest.
A.J. Galante, at center, in "Untold: Crime & Penalties."Netflix
Authorities said Jimmy Galante, now 69, had dodged the hockey league’s salary cap by putting players and their families on the payrolls of his other companies. They also said he had made regular $30,000 payments to Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello, then boss of the Genovese crime family, to gain favor for his waste management businesses. Galante served six years in federal prison.
But the Galantes would return to the ice.
The News-Times of Danbury reported earlier this year that father and son got onboard with a “combat sport” called Ice Wars. And they still sell Trashers merch on their website. Since 2014, A.J. has also run Champs Boxing Club & Fitness in Danbury.
As for “The Trashers,” written by Adam J. Perlman (”Billions”), A.J. Galante is one of the producers.
This isn’t the first time the film’s director, Raiff, has gravitated to Jersey.
Cooper Raiff will direct "The Trashers."Roy Rochlin | Getty Images
Raiff, 25, who hails from Texas, is the buzzy writer, director and star of the Apple TV+ movie “Cha Cha Real Smooth.” The fictional story is set in the bar and bat mitzvahs of Livingston (though not filmed in Jersey) and co-stars Dakota Johnson (also a producer) and newcomer Vanessa Burghardt from Cedar Grove.
In the dramedy, Raiff plays a recent college grad in search of his calling who starts working as a party motivator at bar and bat mitzvahs and falls for the mother (Johnson) of a girl who has autism (Burghardt).
Cha Cha Real Smooth” drew praise for its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won an audience award and was snatched up by Apple for $15 million.
In 2020, Raiff’s feature directorial debut, “Sh-thouse,” won the grand jury prize for best narrative feature at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.
Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at akuperinsky@njadvancemedia.com and followed at @AmyKup on Twitter.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (User Agreement updated 1/1/21. Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement updated 7/1/2022).
Cookie Settings
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
Ad ChoicesAd Choices


Leave a Comment