Following a heated bidding war, Universal Pictures is in final negotiations to acquire the rights to the recently published Atavist article “The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang,” with Miles Teller attached to star and Ruben Fleischer on board to direct.
The article profiles the bank robbers dubbed “the Stopwatch Gang” because of how quickly they pulled off their heists. Although they never once fired a shot, the group stole millions and became the most feared and pursued bank robbers of the 1980s. Penned by Outside correspondent Josh Dean, the article has the feel of cops-and-robber pics like “The Town,” “Point Break” and “Heat.”
Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark will produce through Stuber’s Bluegrass Films banner. Fleischer and Teller will also produce. Beau Bauman will oversee production on behalf of Bluegrass Films.
The article was taken out last week, with offers coming in on Friday and through the weekend. Several studios were in the mix, and sources say the race came down to Universal and Fox going out for Chernin.
Attaching Teller to star is a big get for the studio, as the actor continues to climb the ranks of younger leading men with films like “Whiplash,” and the upcoming “Insurgent” and “Fantastic Four.” He is repped by CAA.
Fleischer last helmed the Warner Bros. crime pic “Gangster Squad.” He is repped by CAA.
Stuber continues to be active with “Ted 2” set to bow this summer, and the Matthew McConaughey Civil War pic “Free State of Jones” currently in production. He is also prepping the action comedy “Central Intelligence,” to star Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, with plans to start shooting this spring. Stuber is repped by CAA.