Friday 4 November 2011

A heist movie...

I love a good heist movie. A Fish Called Wanda, The Asphalt Jungle, The Bank Job, Charley VarrickFlawless, The Good Thief, Heat, Heist, Inside Man, Mad Money, Ocean's Eleven, Out of Sight, Quick Change, Rififi, Ronin, The Thomas Crown Affair, Topkapi, Un Flic, The Usual Suspects, and all the others. So much larceny, and... uh... moral lessons learned.

The heist technique used by Jules Dassin in Topkapi (1964)...
... was borrowed by Tom Cruise for Mission Impossible (1996).
Back in 2005, Eddie Murphy suggested making an all-black version of Ocean's Eleven. Why not? How about a cast that included Jamie Foxx, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Tracey Morgan and Chris Tucker?  I'd watch that.

And so a process started. Six years later Tower Heist, starring Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, and Tea Leoni, is due to be released this weekend.

What happened to the all-black cast?  Gone. Lots of things got in the way of that idea. You can read the full story here in the LA Times.

The most interesting aspect to me is the number of writers who took a crack at what, on the surface, sounds like a simple writing job. Writing credits go to Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson, and writing partners Adam Cooper & Bill Collage, but the script was also revised by Russell Gewirtz, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Leslie Dixon and Noah Baumbach.

Maybe writing a good heist movie isn't as simple as it sounds.


nathanmarch said...

The next idea I'd like to play with is a short heist. So much fun to plot!
Probably next year I imagine.

Henry Sheppard said...

Don't waste it on a single short, Nathan. Do it as a series. More room to develop character and tension. Far greater chances of getting it noticed.

Web series Festivals require a minimum of two episodes made before you can enter. Look forward to hearing more down the track...