Coming off “The Big Sick,” the most successful independent movie of the summer, Michael Showalter has found a new project. He’s signed a developmental deal with Fox Searchlight to direct a contemporary Western-slash-thriller called “The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob,” Variety has learned.
The story will follow a real-life ’90s Texas bank robber named Peggy Jo Tallas, who got away with her heists by dressing up as a man, aka “Cowboy Bob.” Her disguises were carefully crafted, with the help of a towel stuffed under her shirt, a leather jacket and a fake beard. The lead actress has not yet been cast, but it will be a strong and showy part.
Fox Searchlight will finance the indie film. It will be produced by Riva Marker and Jake Gyllenhaal through their company Nine Stories.
“Cowboy Bob” is based on Texas Monthly article from 2005 written by Skip Hollandsworth. “She was one of the most unusual bank robbers of his generation, a modern-day Bonnie without a Clyde,” is one way Peggy Jo was described. The movie will have both comedic and dramatic touches (a la the Coen brothers).
In the last few years, Showalter has emerged as one of the most exciting writer-directors of the independent film world. His directing credits include 2015’s “Hello, My Name is Doris” and “The Big Sick,” which has grossed more than $40 million at the domestic box office. He co-wrote “Wet Hot American Summer,” the 2001 cult comedy, where he played Coop.