Julia Roberts to Star in Crime Drama ‘Train Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned.

Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains and Greyhound buses. McCollum, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, has been arrested more than 25 times for such crimes. Roberts’ character would be his most recent lawyer, and his previous heists (starting at age 15) are shown throughout the film via flashbacks.

Those who have read the script by Simon Stephenson (of the U.K. series “Eleventh Hour”) tell that Variety it’s a meaty role for Roberts, along the lines of her Oscar-winning portrait in 2000’s “Erin Brockovich.” The film is being produced by Gotham Group. Roberts could also potentially be a producer.

FilmNation Entertainment will be financing the film. A director has not been hired.

McCollum’s story has been told in numerous newspaper articles and a documentary. Roberts has two movies in 2016: “Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster, and “Mother’s Day” from Garry Marshall.

CAA is packaging the project and handling U.S. sales, and FilmNation will take on international sales.

More Film

  • 'Den of Thieves' Review: Gerard Butler

    Film Review: 'Den of Thieves'

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

  • 'The Green Fog' Review: A Heartfelt,

    Film Review: 'The Green Fog'

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

  • Korean Giant to Emerge from CJ

    Korea's CJ Orders up Merger of Media and Shopping Units

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

  • Stanley Tucci Joins Rosamund Pike, Jamie

    Stanley Tucci Joins Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan in 'A Private War' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

  • 2017 Tribeca Film Festival slate

    Palm Springs Film Review: 'The Last Movie Star'

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

  • Australia Film Funding: 'Go Karts,' '100%

    'Go Karts,' '100% Wolf' Head Funding Slate for Screenwest, Screen Australia

    Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero, Variety has learned. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content