A trio of actors have signed on for Charles Matthau’s (The Grass Harp) adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky. Variety reports that Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Craig Robinson will star in the Hollywood-centered crime flick. Dillon will star as an LAPD bomb squad officer who happens upon a plot hatched by two hippies who plan to scam a movie mogul using their bomb-making skills. Fraser plays a former activist who now puts his bomb-knowledge to work as a Hollywood pyrotechnics and demolition expert, and Robinson is poised to play a former Black Panther who now serves as the assistant to Fraser’s character.
In pitch-perfect casting, William H. Macy is already set to star as the alcoholic Hollywood mogul that the two hippie characters attempt to scam. The other day we heard that Sienna Miller may be starring in the film, but she wasn’t mentioned in Variety’s report today. Matthau will direct, and adapted Leonard’s novel himself. The film version will take place in 1974 instead of Leonard’s late 80’s setting of the book. While Fraser is used to starring in what can mildly be described as horseshit as of late, the other actors involved sound promising. It’ll be interesting to see who Matthau gets to fill out the rest of his cast. Production is set to start this summer in Michigan. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Leonard’s book.
Leonard starts and ends his latest page turner with a bang, and between explosions we meet a vivid group of characters who are mainly veterans of the youth rebellion of the 1960s. Chief among them are Chris Mankowski, 38-year-old Detroit police sergeant, newly transferred from the bomb squad to sex crimes; Woody Ricks, alcoholic auto scion; Donnell Lewis, ex-Black Panther who is acting as Woody’s driver, nursemaid and would-be swindler; Robin Abbott, ex-con, exfugitive (she bombed a federal office building) who has plans for a million dollar movie based on Woody’s life, with help from her old boyfriend and erstwhile bombing partner Skip Gibbs, now a movie dynamite expert. The only character who does not have ties to the ’60s is Greta (“Who’s Huey Newton?”) Wyatt, stagenamed Ginger Jones, who meets Chris when she reports that Woody has assaulted her. When Chris pursues the investigation, he is suspended from the force, ostensibly for nonresidence in Detroit but really because of Woody’s clout. Now determined to get to the bottom of things, Chris is caught up in a web of scams plotted by Robin, Skip and Donnell. Leonard (Bandits, Glitz) excels here with his trademark menace and his deadpan, throwaway humor. His superlative ear for the vernacular makes all the characters spring to life; Woody,”always in low with his dims on,” is a brilliant creation. This bang-up novel has bestseller written all over it. [Amazon]