Updated: We landed a few more people for the Q&A. New list below.
I’ve got a few questions for you. Are you a fan of seeing movies before they’re in theaters? Will you be in the Los Angeles area March 11th? And, finally, would you like to see Travis Fimmel, Rachael Taylor, William Fichtner, Rhys Coiro, Louis Lombardi, Jake Weary, and director Mark Steven Johnson participate in a Q&A for their new movie, Finding Steve McQueen? If you answered yes to these questions I’m about to make you very happy.
On March 11th at 7:30pm at the ArcLight Hollywood, Collider is partnering up with ArcLight Cinemas and Momentum Pictures for an early screening of Finding Steve McQueen and after the screening ends, I’ll be moderating a Q&A with Travis Fimmel, Rachael Taylor, William Fichtner, Rhys Coiro, Louis Lombardi, Jake Weary, and director Mark Steven Johnson.
If you’re wondering how you can get in, we’ve got you covered. To see this free screening you need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I Want to See Finding Steve McQueen” You need to include your name in the body of the email and if you’d like to bring a guest. We’ll be accepting emails until Friday March 8th and we’ll contact the people that won passes with specific info about the screening soon after.
If you’re not familiar with Finding Steve McQueen, the heist comedy dives into one of the most ridiculous, yet little-known robberies in United States history. Vikings star Travis Fimmel stars as getaway driver Harry James Barber, who—along with a crew of fellow thieves from Youngstown, Ohio—tried to steal millions in under-the-counter campaign contributions from Richard Nixon’s illegal fund. (In the true story, the gang made off with about $9 million from the United California Bank, around $54 million by today’s standards.)
Here’s what director Mark Steven Johnson had to say about the film:
The story of the United California Bank Robbery is one of the greatest stories never told. Back in 1972, the leader of a small group of safecrackers from Youngstown, Ohio got a tip from Jimmy Hoffa: President Nixon was hiding up to $30 million in dirty campaign funds in a bank in Laguna Niguel. Propelled by their hatred for Nixon, the gang travelled to California to rip off the President of The United States.
It was during this time that Watergate was brewing, putting their audacious heist right in the eye of the storm. The fact that these small town crooks were so far in over their heads brings a lot of natural comedy to the story. They actually got caught because they forgot to run the dishwasher (a new invention at the time) in their stakeout house, leaving fingerprints on the dirty dishes for the FBI to discover. You can’t make this stuff up… The story of the United California Bank Robbery is a truly incredible one — but it was Harry’s story that made me want to make this film.
Harry Barber idolized Steve McQueen. He even used his name as an alias while working the heist. But with the FBI hot on their tail, Harry was forced to go on the lam and assume yet another identity, “John Baker.” He hid out in a small town in Pennsylvania where he fell in love (with the sheriff’s daughter no less) and stayed for seven years before his past finally caught up to him. Most heist films are about the robbery itself. The drama comes from waiting to see if they’ll get away with it or not. In our film the heist is already over when the movies begins. Seven years have gone by. The drama isn’t whether or not Harry will get away with it — it’s what happens when his past catches up to him.
“Finding Steve McQueen” is an unbelievable true story about one of the most daring bank jobs of all time. But at its heart it’s a story about identity. Who we are versus who we want to be — and what happens when those worlds collide. The story is an interesting combination of drama, romance and broad comedy — the kind that started my career when I wrote “Grumpy Old Men.” It’s one of those fascinating footnotes in American History that deserves to be told. And with a crooked president in the White House and a scandal looming…it’s a story that has never been more relevant.
Check out the Finding Steve McQueen trailer below. Finding Steve McQueen hits theaters and On Demand March 15th.