Ever since I saw TV’s Alias back in 2004, I’ve been a fan of J.J. Abrams. His debut feature film, Mission: Impossible III, was the highest budgeted film for a first-time feature director, and his fantastic Star Trek reboot breathed new life into a long-flailing franchise. Now it appears the prolific producer/writer/composer/director has his sights set on a new heist film, this time based on a true story.
Last year, Paramount and Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions secured the rights to Joshua Davis’ Wired Magazine article entitled “The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist.” The author met with the imprisoned mastermind behind the operation, Leonardo Notarbartolo, and the thief divulged details of how he and his team broke through ten layers of security (including “infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations”) to steal a reported $100 million of diamonds and other valuables. The true monetary value of all the stolen property has never been officially reported, and to this day none of the stolen treasure has been recovered.
Now, Abrams and his crew have hired Phil Alden Robinson, the writer/director of classics like Field of Dreams and Sneakers, to pen the adaptation. No word yet on whether or not Robinson will be directing the film as well as writing it. We do know that Abrams will not be directing, since has too much on his plate (Super 8, Star Trek 2, etc.) – he’ll stick with a producing job on this one.
Sneakers is a little-seen gem that is a lot of fun, and features many of the same tropes we’re sure to see in this heist film: an eclectic crew, a strong leader, “tech” guys, and so forth. Robinson certainly has experience with this type of storytelling, but do you think he’s the right guy to direct as well? If not, who would you rather see in the director’s chair?