Hailed by Variety as a prequel to Jackie Brown, the upcoming adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch” will star John Hawkes and Yassin Bey (once known as Mos Def) as younger versions of the same characters once played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Tarantino’s 1997 film.
The movie, called simply Switch, was written on spec without permission by Dan Schechter (Supporting Characters), who will also direct. He sent the finished script to Elmore Leonard’s producing partner, and they gave Schechter their blessing. The plot is as follows:
Set 15 years before the events in “Jackie Brown,” story follows career criminals Ordell and Louis as they team up to kidnap Mickey Dawson, the wife of a corrupt Detroit real estate developer. When the husband refuses to pay the ransom for his wife’s return, the ex-cons are forced to reconceive their plan, and the angry housewife uses the duo to get her revenge.
Sounds like perfect casting to me. I can’t wait to see how Hawkes and Bey work together, especially using the pulpy dialogue of an Elmore Leonard story.
Though the characters are the same, this may not be a straight-ahead prequel. Leonard’s works have an interesting history of crossing over characters in both film and television. Michael Keaton reprised his Jackie Brown role of ATF agent Ray Nicolette in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, another Leonard story. And Karen Sisco, the lead character played by Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, was played by Carla Gugino in a short-lived TV series back in 2003. Gugino is currently reprising that role as a guest star on the FX show “Justified,” though the character does have a different last name due to different studios owning different characters in the Leonard canon.