Let’s get one thing clear from the start: Quentin Tarantino is not involved with this film, though it has his blessing. No, writer/director Dan Schecter is the man behind this adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Switch, and he’s got Martha Marcy May Marlene star John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (the artist formerly known as rapper-turned-actor Mos Def) ready to star.
Hawkes and Bey will play the younger versions of Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, as played respectively by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Tarantino’s film, which itself was adapted from Leonard’s Rum Punch.
Schechter took a gamble writing a script based on The Switch, which Leonard published in 1978, and sent it to Michael Siegel, who happens to be the author’s representative. Impressed with his work, the pair handed him the film rights and agreed to be producers. Young filmmakers take heart: it can happen!
The plot, set 15 years before the events in Brown, finds Louis and Ordell teaming up to kidnap Mickey Dawson, a woman married to a corrupt Detroit real estate magnate. But when her husband refuses to pay the ransom, the crooks work with the wife to get her revenge. Schecter is aiming to start shooting the film in May.
Hawkes has been winning plaudits at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his leading role in The Surrogate, about a disabled poet who seeks to lose his virginity with a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt). He’ll also show up this year in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Bey most appeared on US crime drama Dexter.