Somewhere between “The Sitter” and his soon to be shooting remake of “Suspiria,” David Gordon Green dropped the movie he’d been developing about the Barefoot Bandit. Another filmmaker is now taking on the film and it’s a choice that may surprise some.
Robert Zemeckis is now attached to the movie, which bears a new and rather clunky title:”Taking Flight: The Hunt For A Young Outlaw” (so no, it’s not a sequel to the director’s upcoming Oscar bait “Flight“). The story concerns the real-life case of Colton Harris-Moore, a modern-day Robin Hood (of sorts), who escaped juvenile detention at the age of 18 and became quickly known for an audacious, rogue lifestyle living in the woods of Washington State. The offspring of an abusive father and alcoholic mother, he taught himself how to drive, captain and fly stolen cars, boats and planes as he continued to elude authorities and capture — all while continuing his criminal activities and earning the nickname the “Barefoot Bandit” due to his preference to prowl without footwear. He was eventually arrested and tried, and is currently serving a six and a half year sentence.
It’s compelling stuff to be sure, and as long-attached screenwriter Dustin Lance Black — who has met with Harris-Moore — told us this spring, he admired the young man’s intelligence. “You understand what he was up against, and that he was just surviving in the extreme, and it just got more extreme because he’s goddamn brilliant. He’s so smart,” he said, adding: “He didn’t hurt anybody. I would have backed out of the project if he had.”
Black is currently completing a new draft of the screenplay, with Zemeckis developing it as a directorial gig. It’s certainly outside of his wheelhouse of multiplex fare, but whenever he does go down an unlikely path (“Flight,” “Cast Away,” “White Lies Beneath“) the results tend to be a lot more interesting. So we’ll see how this turns out. [THR]