Legendary and prolific author Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87. The acclaimed and influential writer worked in various genres, and over twenty movies were based on his books. Notable adaptations include Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, and Jackie Brown, which was based on Leonard’s Rum Punch. Leonard’s writing also crossed over to TV with Maximum Bob, Karen Sisco, and the beloved FX series Justified.
I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I’ve never read any of Leonard’s books, but it would be foolish for anyone to ignore his impact on modern American writing. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Leonard’s family and friends. [THR]
Though we previously reported Dennis Quaid and Ty Burrell as starring in Dan Schechter’s untitled adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel, The Switch, it looks like they’re out and Will Forte and Tim Robbins are in. The story occurs 15 years before the events of Jackie Brown, with Yassin Bey and John Hawkes starring as career criminals Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara (the same characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro). The picture also stars Jennifer Aniston and Isla Fisher. Hit the jump to see how Forte and Robbins fit in.
We’ve got a couple of new images to share with you today. Briefly:
- The Host – A new image of star Saoirse Ronan in director Andrew Niccol’s (Gattaca) adaptation of author Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi book. Ronan stars as a young girl whose body has become host to an alien invader. The film opens on March 29th, 2013
- Freaky Deaky – Images of Christian Slater, Andy Dick, and a very creepy Crispin Glover from the Elmore Leonard adaptation. Story centers on two radicals in 1974 who plan a scam using their bomb-making skills.
Hit the jump to check out the images.
Developed by Graham Yost and based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, the hit FX drama series Justified has proven itself to be one of the strongest written and best acted shows on television. One of the new additions for Season 3 has been actor Mykelti Williamson, as the mysterious Limehouse, a man who knows enough secrets to make almost everyone in Harlan uncomfortable.
During this recent interview about his role on the show, Mykelti Williamson talked about not knowing whether or not he’ll be returning next season, the fun of being kept in the dark about where things are going, what he thinks of his character, how much he enjoys watching the show as a viewer, his favorite scene in the finale, and that he keeps a character Bible of his own potential storylines that he hopes to suggest, should he return. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Earlier this month, we reported that John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), and Ty Burrell had joined Dan Schechter‘s adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s novel, Switch. Deadline is now reporting that Jennifer Aniston and Dennis Quaid have joined the crime drama, which takes place 15 years before Jackie Brown (which was based on Leonard’s novel, Rum Punch). The story centers on a jilted housewife (Aniston) who’s kidnapped by ex-cons Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie (Hawkes and Bey, respectively; the characters were played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown). When her crooked real-estate developer husband (Quaid) sees this as an opportunity to get rid of her, he refuses to pay the ransom, and the housewife decides to enlist Gara and Robbie in order to get revenge. Production on the movie is set to begin in May.
Switch isn’t strictly a prequel since Leonard tends to reuse his characters (Michael Keaton played Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight). Let’s just hope that this spin-off/prequel works better than the Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool. Hit the jump for the synopsis of Leonard’s The Switch.
Timothy Olyphant is a movie star, but only on television. Sadly, between Deadwood and Justified, he’s also one of the only actors today who’s a credible cowboy, having spent three years playing an old west lawman on Deadwood, and now the modern variant in Justified. Here Timothy Olyphant is Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshall who’s moved from Florida – after shooting a man – to Kentucky, where he grew up. There, he’s surrounded by the life he left behind and tries to arrest Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who may have blown up a church and killed a man or two. Based on the works of Elmore Leonard, this Graham Yost produced TV show is easily one of the most entertaining action/mystery serials in a good long while. My review of Justified Season One on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
The popular FX drama Justified, based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, returns for a second season starting on February 9th. Fresh off the epic gun battle that concluded the first season, Season 2 finds Bo Crowder (M.C. Gainey) dead and the Crowder family’s criminal grip on Harlan County broken. Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) must now face off against the criminal organizations that are looking to fill the void, and he finds himself entangled, once again, with Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
During the FX portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, show star Timothy Olyphant talked about how good it feels to receive the praise of Elmore Leonard, who created this complex character, how much he enjoys everything about his work on Justified, his new title as a producer, and how much he thinks the series has grown in Season 2. He also talked about the experience of working on I Am Number Four, due out in theaters on February 18th, and said that contrary to previously announced reports, he is not testing for the lead role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Myriad Pictures and Matthau Media are set to adapt Elmore Leonard’s comedic crime thriller Freaky Deaky. Charles Matthau, son of the late legendary Walter Matthau, is set to direct. Per Variety, “Freaky Deaky chronicles the exploits of two former lovers who are extreme radicals with a talent for bomb making. After several years and prison terms apart, they reunite to steal millions from an accomplice. But they draw the attention of police and a bomb squad, especially one cop with bomb training of his own.” Production is set to begin in early 2011.
Leonard’s work has been the basis for popular films including 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, and Jackie Brown as well as less-than-popular films like The Big Bounce and Be Cool. Let’s hope that Freaky Deaky lands in the former category. [UPDATE: Deadline reports that William H. Macy will star. Macy's latest film, Dirty Girl, was picked up for $3 million last night by the Weinstein Company after its Toronto Film Festival debut].
The work of Elmore Leonard has been adapted countless times for the cinemas to varying degrees of success–for every Out of Sight there are a couple of Be Cools. On the small screen, Hollywood is 0 for 2–neither Karen Sisco or Maximum Bob (both based on Leonard stores) lasted more than a season. And so, FX is tempting the fates with their newest hourlong, Justified. Not only is protagonist Deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens derived from the author’s Fire in the Hole novella, but this particular Leonard adaptation dabbles in the Western, a genre which has not been truly viable on television since Gunsmoke ended the golden age of cowboys by signing off the airwaves in 1975. My review after the jump: