It’s increasingly rare to see Bruce Willis act like a professional and give a quality performance regardless of the material (of his last 12 films, his only worthwhile work was in Looper and Moonrise Kingdom), but perhaps he’ll show his acting talent in an adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s Bandits. Not to be confused with the forgettable 2001 Barry Levinson film of the same name, Willis optioned the black comedy when it was published in 1987, but the rights lapsed and were picked up by Quentin Tarantino along with the rights to three other Leonard novels. Tarantino only ended up adapting Rum Punch (into Jackie Brown), and now the rights are back in Willis’ hands, who will produce the picture in addition to starring.
He’s also getting his Rock the Kasbah director Mitch Glazer to pen the screenplay. Hit the jump for more.
If complex Elmore Leonard storylines are your bag, Bandits will likely have you covered. Per Deadline:
The tale is a black comedy that is set in New Orleans and Willis will play Jack Delaney, an ex-con who is struggling to stay on the straight path as he dresses up corpses as a mortician in his brother’s funeral home. Things get much more exciting for him when he meets a gorgeous lapsed nun who is just back from Nicaragua where she took care of lepers and tried to keep the contras from hacking them up with machetes. She wants to smuggle a beautiful young Nicaraguan woman – who contracted leprosy–because the woman’s ex-lover, a Somoza-type colonel, wants to kill her for possibly infecting him. That same guy is raising millions from rich Americans to take back to the contras and the bored mortician finds his own cause, stiffing the colonel and getting away with a fortune with the help of the nun and an ex-cop.
Did you get all that? Yeah, me neither.
It will be up to Glazer to cobble that into a workable script, and it remains to be seen who will come on board to direct. At the very least, I’m always excited to see Willis invested in a project because he’s a terrific actor when he wants to be.