Bank robbers have a long history in Hollywood, going beyond even the glory days of movies like Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Last year alone featured two new studio-made additions to the genre – one being quite good (The Town) and the other… not so impressive (Takers).
In addition to upcoming titles like Henry’s Crime, there are two other in-development pictures that revolve around the exploits of bank thieves – namely, a remake of the recent German film, The Robber, and a “based on a true story” flick titled Electric Slide.
24 Frames has the scoop on both these titles, and says that The Robber remake is being developed by Sony, with The Amazing Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin working behind the scenes as well. The new webslinger himself, Andrew Garfield, has also reportedly expressed interest in the project, though he’s not yet officially onboard.
The original German film version of The Robber told the story of a marathon runner who turned to bank robbing for the sport of it, essentially. It’s based on real-life thief Johann Rettenberg, but does not delve too deeply into the fellow’s backstory or explore his unusual mindset. The Robber could be described as an existential heist pic more than anything else – though, not in the vein of Inception, mind you.
For better or for worse, the American remake is expected to explore the main character’s history and motivation with greater depth. Not that it’s necessary, of course – after all, as Michael Caine once put it, “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money.” ;-)
Ewan McGregor is already attached to star in Electric Slide, which is also based on the exploits of a real-life robber – one Eddie Dodson. The late Dodson ran a popular Melrose Avenue antique shop in the 1970s, but by 1983 had turned to bank robbing in order to support his heroin addiction (insert McGregor in Trainspotting joke here). Overall, Dodson succeeded in robbing 64 banks over seven months, collected almost $300,000 for his efforts – all while using a fake gun. It’s almost like he’s Clive Owen’s character from Inside Man and Bruce Willis/Billy Bob Thornton from Bandits, plus a drug addiction, all rolled into one!
Blue Valentine producer Jamie Patricof is currently working to bring Dodson’s story to the big screen. It’s kind of surprising to learn that it’s a project which has struggled to gain momentum for a while now, given the larger-than-life subject that inspired it. The combination of McGregor as the lead and Patricof’s ability to get “difficult” (re: not box office friendly) movies like Blue Valentine or Half-Nelson made should be enough to assure that Electric Slide will begin production sooner rather than later.
Garfield is currently in the midst of starring in the Spider-Man reboot for Sony, and McGregor may soon be appearing in Jack the Giant Killer. We’ll keep you updated about their respective involvement with The Robber and Electric Slide as more information is released.