The latest novel from pulp writer Elmore Leonard (Out of Sight) that will be given the movie treatment is The Switch, a prequel to his book Jackie Brown – which was itself adapted into film form by director Quetin Tarantino back in 1997. Sadly, the master of movie homage will not be involved in this new Leonard project in any way, shape or form.
Back in ’97, fresh off a wave of critical praise and financial success from his 1994 hit Pulp Fiction, Tarantino decided that his followup project would be an adaptation of Jackie Brown. A character-driven piece that paid homage to Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, Tarantino’s film featured an all-star cast that included Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, and original Foxy Brown star Pam Grier as the titular Jackie Brown.
The film was received moderate praise from critics and moviegoers alike, but has gone on to become a cult classic – one that several Tarantino fans hold in even higher regard than Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino has previously expressed his love of Leonard’s writing and has cited The Switch in particular as one of his personal favorites. The plot for the book – which revolves around a kidnapping plan-turned-revenge scheme and a furious housewife – sounds like something right up the Tarantio’s alley. Why exactly he is taking a pass on the film version is a question that remains unanswered for now.
The screen adaptation of The Switch has already been written by Daniel Schechter, who wrote/directed the Slamdance Film Festival hit Goodbye Baby in 2007. Michael Siegel (Be Cool) and Elmore Leonard are set to take on production duties for The Switch. At this point, the project is looking to be picked up by a studio before it gets to hiring a director and cast.
The Switch will see Jackie Brown characters Ordell Robbie (Jackson) and Loius Gara (De Niro) in action long before their experience with Jackie Brown left them on less than agreeable terms with one another. Don’t expect either Jackson or De Niro to return for the prequel, given their age and the fact that both stars have plenty on their plate as it is.
Which director will take the place left vacant by Tarantino? Previous directors of films based off Leonard’s novels include Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black 3), Steven Soderbergh (The Informant!) and James Mangold (Knight and Day). None of these filmmakers seem an obvious fit for The Switch, so we’ll wait and see who eventually does get attached to direct.
So what do you think? Could The Switch be good even without Tarantino’s involvement? What director would you like to see take on the project? Sound off in the comments section below.
We’ll keep you updated on the development of The Switch as more information comes in.