It looks like writer/director Darren Aronofsky is going to be following up his brilliant 2008 wrestling pic, The Wrestler, with a film based around, "the daring robbery of the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge... thought to be masterminded by former mixed martial arts fighter and UFC star ‘Lightning' Lee Murray." The indie thriller is being set up for Aronofsky to both direct and produce.
Screenwriter Kerry Williamson (adapter of the upcoming Alexander Payne film, Fork in the Road) is adapting the script from an underlying rights package which includes two separate sources: an article in Sports Illustrated from April 14th 2008 entitled Breaking the Bank (written by John Wertheim), and from a non-fiction book called Heist: The Inside Story of the World's Biggest Robbery (by Howard Sounes).
The title of the latter source isn't for nothing: the real life London heist is valued at around $86 million (or £53 million to use the native currency), which is the largest in British crime history. An interesting thing to note is that one of the men said to be behind the robbery is "Lightning" Lee Murray, a British-Moroccan mixed martial arts fighter. Wikipedia states that when a film based around the robbery was first conceived, it would include some aspects of Murray's life, including his UFC fighting, on top of the actual robbery stuff. However, there's been no word on whether that's still the case in over a year, especially now with Aronofsky involved.
Anytime Aronofsky's name is attached to a new project, it instantly has my attention. Even if I didn't care all that much for his third effort, The Fountain (ambitious as hell and gorgeously shot but too muddled and confusing for its own good IMO), I have loved every one of his other movies, particularly Requiem for a Dream (one of my all time favorites) and last year's "Should have been nominated for Best Picture," The Wrestler.
Robbing a huge amount of cash (from behind a camera, that is...) is new territory for Aronofsky, but I've no doubt he'll make something at the very least interesting out of it.
He'll have to do a lot to top the opening of The Dark Knight, though. Am I right or am I right (or am I right)?...
Will this be Aronofsky's next project? He already has the supernatural thriller, Black Swan lined up (set to star Natalie Portman), and for a while, he has been rumored to direct the remake of Robocop. I just wonder which of the three will be his top priority (Robocop is said to be far from shooting due to MGM's money problems). To be honest, I'd be happy with any of them, as I'm just happy to see Aronofsky make more movies.
What do you think of Aronofsky directing a heist movie, particularly one based directly on a real one? Are you a fan of the director's work and do you think he is suited to this type of film?
There's currently no title or release date set for Aronofsky's heist film, but it is being produced by XYZ Films, Inc. Studios and Protozoa Pictures (the latter has partnered with the first two).
Sources: /Film and Variety