Dustin Lance Black has been set to pen the screenplay for 20th Century Fox’s film about infamous 18-year-old outlaw Colton Harris-Moore, a.k.a. the Barefoot Bandit, while David Gordon Green is in final talks to direct.
Word of Black’s deal came on the same day that Harris-Moore was transported in chains from Miami to Seatac, Washington, after his dramatic arrest in the Bahamas on July 11.
Green is producing the Harris-Moore story through his Rough House Pictures production shingle, a label within Mandate Pictures. Fox boarded the project in April, while Harris-Moore was still on the lamb.
The film will be based on a book proposal, “Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw,” by Bob Friel, who profiled Harris-Moore in the January edition of adventure magazine Outside.
Harris-Moore has committed scores of crimes, mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, including allegedly stealing at least five small aircraft, a boat and two cars, as well as burglarizing at least 100 private residences.
Harris-Moore taught himself how to fly in order to evade local police, Homeland Security and the FBI.
On July 4, 2010, he allegedly fled in a plane stolen from Indiana and crashed on the shoreline of one of the islands in the Bahamas. He was indicted on July 6 by a U.S. Federal Court in Seattle on charges of transporting another stolen aircraft in that state.
He was arrested July 11 in Harbour Island, Bahamas, as he attempted to flee on a boat. Police captured him after shooting at the engine.
Harris-Moore earned the nickname “Barefoot Bandit” after having been seen running barefoot from the scene of the crime.
“It’s clear that there’s a reason the country has become so enamored with this story, and that is worthy of investigation,” Black said. “Like any great outlaw story, it speaks to the social and political mood of a generation.”
Harris-Moore also has a massive Facebook following, and has been compared to another young outlaw, Frank Abagnale Jr., who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Catch Me if You Can.”
He now awaits trial in Washington state.
Black’s wrote and directed the upcoming “What’s Wrong with Virginia?” He recently wrote the screenplay for “3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man” at Warner Bros.
Green’s directing credits include “Pineapple Express” and the upcoming “Your Highness.”
Mandate Pictures set up Rough House earlier this year. Green runs the shingle with
Danny McBride, Green, Jody Hill and Matt Reilly.
Black and Green are repped by CAA.