While Jeremy Renner isn’t a household name just yet, that should all change by this time next year. Taking a page from the Jude Law playbook — always a risky move — the actor will have major roles in no less than four movies in the next year including “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “The Avengers” and “The Bourne Legacy.” And with two Oscar nominations already to his name, Renner is putting aside the tentpole material at least for a moment, and signing on for a project that will hopefully replicate the success of “The Town.”
Deadline reports that Renner will wear the crown as the star of “King Of Heists.” Based on the true story of George Leslie, a trained architect who gave up the trade after his parents died to become a master thief, the film is being adapted from the book of the same name by J. North Conway. In 1872 he moved with his 15 year-old bride to New York City where George’s wealth afforded him the status to mingle with the city’s elite society. But all the while, he was masterminding bank heists — sometimes taking as long as three years to plan them out — with legend saying that he had a model of a safe and vault to learn how to crack them. He would carefully select his team before a heist and even do a dry run in carefully constructed mock rooms to make sure they would do the job right. After a decade of fleecing banks — including a $3 million haul from the Manhattan Savings Institution — he was eventually caught, but the extent of his crimes wasn’t known until long after his death.
So, old timey bank heists? Yes please. Newcomer Will Staples — who has a handful of scripts in development including “Myth” the sci-fi action pic with Sam Worthington attached — will pen the screenplay. No studio is behind the pic yet but Renner’s shingle The Combine along with Black Bear Pictures will produce. We’re eager to see where this goes but let’s hope it stays a bit more cerebral and doesn’t turn into “Sherlock Holmes” with bank heists.