×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Hawkes to star in ‘Jackie Brown’ prequel

Indie 'Switch' based on Elmore Leonard book

Fresh off his critically acclaimed turn in Sundance’s audience award winner “The Surrogate,” John Hawkes has committed to star opposite Yasiin Bey in the Elmore Leonard adaptation “Switch,” from writer-director Dan Schechter (“Supporting Characters”).

The crime drama will serve as a prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” with Hawkes and Bey playing younger versions of Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson’s respective characters Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, who appear in Leonard’s novel “Rum Punch.”

Set 15 years before the events in “Jackie Brown,” story follows career criminals Ordell and Louis as they team up to kidnap Mickey Dawson, the wife of a corrupt Detroit real estate developer. When the husband refuses to pay the ransom for his wife’s return, the ex-cons are forced to reconceive their plan, and the angry housewife uses the duo to get her revenge.

The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman will produce with Michael Siegel (“Be Cool”) and Leonard, while Jim Garavente will exec produce. Production is skedded to start in May.

Schechter rolled the dice in adapting Leonard’s novel on spec, without any permissions cleared in advance. He sent his finished screenplay to Siegel, Leonard’s longtime rep, to share with the author. After reading the script, Leonard and Siegel granted the young filmmaker rights to make the movie, and came on board as producers.

Hawkes’ perf as disabled poet Mark O’Brien in “Surrogate” prompted Fox Searchlight to purchase the Ben Lewin-directed pic for $6 million at Sundance. After earning an Oscar nom for his turn as a Southern criminal in “Winter’s Bone,” Hawkes has appeared in “Contagion” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” for which he’s nominated for a Spirit Award. Thesp recently wrapped production on Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”

Bey, who recently had a recurring role on Showtime’s “Dexter,” previously starred in “The Italian Job” and “Something the Lord Made,” which credited him as Mos Def.

Gotham’s other producing credits include Paramount’s “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and Lionsgate’s “Abduction,” while Siegel serves as an exec producer on DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming pic “Rise of the Guardians.”

Hawkes is repped by Innovative Artists, Thruline Entertainment and attorney Todd Rubenstein, while Brookside Artist Management reps Bey. Schechter is repped by WME and The Gotham Group.

More Film

  • Portrait of a Young Woman on

    Cannes Film Review: 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

    The title of Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” implies that her subversively seductive film will focus on the subject of its eponymous painting — an 18th-century woman who refuses to pose, in defiance of the arranged marriage into which she’s being forced — when it’s just as much a portrait of the [...]

  • Colin Firth

    Cannes: Colin Firth WWII Drama 'Operation Mincemeat' Sells Out Internationally (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Operation Mincemeat,” a buzzy World War II drama that stars Colin Firth, has sold out international territories at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Warner Bros. has picked up several key markets, as has Central and Eastern European distributor Prorom. The film reunites Firth with John Madden, his “Shakespeare in Love” director. FilmNation Entertainment and Cross [...]

  • Meikincine Scoops Three Titles at Cannes

    Meikincine Scoops Three More Titles at Cannes Film Market (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lucia and Julia Meik’s boutique sales company Meikincine has announced three acquisitions out of this year’s Cannes Film Market: Gaspar Scheuer’s “Delfin”- which world premiered in the Cannes Écrans Juniors Competition; Marcelo Paez Cubells’ “Which”– part of this year’s Blood Window Showcase for films in progress; Sebastián Mega Díaz’s romantic comedy “The Big Love Picture.” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Documentarian Patricio Guzman On Chilean Soul And Mountains

    CANNES — Renowned Chilean documentary filmmaker  Patricio Guzmán (“The Battle of Chile,” “The Pearl Button”) has returned to the country to shoot “The Cordillera of Dreams,” 46 years after he was exiled under Augusto Pinochet’s regime of terror. The feature has received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Sold by Paris’ Pyramide International, [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals

    Cannes: Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals on 'Traumfabrik' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has clinched first deals on romantic drama “Traumfabrik,” which is produced by Tom Zickler, the former producing partner of German star Till Schweiger. The film has been picked up by Leomus in China; Flins & Piniculas in Spain; LEV Films/Shani Film in Israel; Taiwan in Moviecloud; Media Squad in Czech Rep., Hungary [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content