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Phillip Noyce is to direct the true-crime love story “Peggy Jo,” starring “Baby Driver” and “Yesterday” actress Lily James. The film is loosely based on the true-story of the life of Texan Peggy Jo Tallas, who takes to robbing banks while posing as a man. Adapted for the screen by “Appaloosa” writer Robert Knott the film will be shot on location in Southern U.S.

“Peggy Jo” is produced by Simon Brooks through his L.A.-based production entity Canyon Creek Films; Brooks previously produced “Love, Rosie,” and executive produced “White Noise.” HanWay Films has picked up international sales rights, and will introduce the project to the buyers at the Cannes Virtual Market. UTA Independent Film Group is handling the U.S. sale.

Peggy Jo (James) is a beautiful person, prone to be romantically lost in books and films; however she is not the sort of person who lets life and people get the better of her. When her latest beau turns out to be married to his bank co-worker, she takes matters into her own hands, robbing his bank disguised as a man with a big beard and a back-to-front cowboy hat.

Inspired by her love of stories such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and eager to support her struggling family financially, Peggy Jo starts holding up a string of banks as her now famous alter-ego “Cowboy Bob.” She becomes more and more daring, hotly pursued by astute FBI agent Bishop. But along the way she loses her heart to damaged soul Charlie. Like Peggy, Charlie also seeks escape and solace in the fantasy world of books and poetry. As Bishop draws nearer and her love-story with Charlie is threatened, Peggy chooses, like her heroes, not to give up, but to go down in a blaze of glory.

Brooks commented: “I have been looking to make a movie with Phillip Noyce for years and ‘Peggy Jo’ is finally the one. It is a great emotive and thrilling story that will capture audiences worldwide.”

HanWay Films chief Gabrielle Stewart said: “’Peggy Jo’ is all about wanting more than your life presents to you and celebrates with a wink and a nod, many of our favorite films from the 70s through to the 80s, in tone, fun, music, color and pure escapist entertainment, with a whole load of heart.”

Noyce is represented by UTA and attorney Wendy Kirk, while James is represented by UTA and Tavinstock Wood. Knott is represented by APA and Thruline.