Real-life outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are poised for a return to the big screen – just not necessarily in the manner you might think (re: a remake of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie & Clyde).
Kamala Films has acquired the screen rights to Jeff Guinn’s non-fiction book, “Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde,” which explores the truth behind the criminal couple, whose exploits were famously romanticized in Penn’s 1967 classic.
Deadline is reporting that Neil Burger (Limitless) is currently in negotiations to direct Go Down Together, working from a script by Oscar-nominee Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air). If Burger does sign on to direct, he will likely make this his followup to the Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune adaptation.
Here is an official description of the original Go Down Together book:
Bestselling author Jeff Guinn combines exhaustive research with surprising, newly-discovered material to tell the real tale of two kids from a filthy Dallas slum who fell in love and then willingly traded their lives for a brief interlude of excitement and, more important, fame. Go Down Together has it all—true romance, rebellion against authority, bullets flying, cars crashing, and, in the end, a dramatic death at the hands of a celebrity lawman. This is the real story of Bonnie and Clyde and their troubled times, delivered with cinematic sweep by a masterful storyteller.
Among other things, Guinn’s literary work reveals that Bonnie and Clyde were only in their early 20s when they were gunned down; that Bonnie may have worked as a prostitute, prior to her meeting Clyde; and that the first person Clyde murdered was his sexually abusive cellmate in prison.
Go Down Together reads on paper as being an unofficial reboot of Bonnie and Clyde, seeing as that it would offer a darker and more gritty version of the story, like most remakes and reboots aim to do, nowadays. Depending on the approach Turner and Burger (or whoever ultimately signs on as director) decide to take, the project could only bear a passing resemble to Penn’s 1967 picture – or basically feel like a direct re-fashioning. It’ll also need to distinguish itself from the upcoming Story of Bonnie and Clyde project, with Hilary Duff and Kevin Zegers playing the main couple.
There is also potential for Go Down Together to play out as more of a cat-and-mouse thriller that pits the two young crooks against the former Texas Ranger that eventually guns them down. Burger’s involvement makes all the more sense from that perspective, going by his solid work on the popcorn thriller, Limitless. He’d be an excellent choice to handle that sort of project again.
We’ve seen multiple successful incarnations of iconic real-life 20th century criminal figures on the big screen before (Al Capone and John Dillinger come to mind), so maybe Go Down Together will offer a new portrayal of Bonnie and Clyde that works on its own terms.