Bruce Willis' planned movie adaptation of Elmore Leonard book Bandits is finally moving forward, 28 years after he first optioned the rights to the novel. The Die Hard star knew he wanted to turn the black comedy into a film back in 1987, when it was first published, but his plans never came to fruition and the rights were later purchased by director Quentin Tarantino, who brought Leonard's Rum Punch to life onscreen as 1997 crime drama Jackie Brown.
The project has since found its way back into Willis' hands once more and now he has recruited Mitch Glazer, the screenwriter behind his forthcoming film Rock The Kasbah, to pen the script.
Bandits will feature an ensemble cast led by Willis, who will play lead character Jack Delaney, a former convict who gets involved in a get-rich-quick scheme with the help of a lapsed nun.
Leonard's writer son Peter Leonard and the late author's grandson, Tim, will serve as executive producers on the project.
Elmore Leonard died in 2013.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan's cancelled Magic City casino mob series is set to be revived on the big screen with Bruce Willis and Bill Murray joining the cast. The period TV show, which also starred Danny Huston and Olga Kurylenko, was scrapped last year (13) after just two seasons on America's Starz network, but now blockbuster filmmaker Brett Ratner has signed on to co-produce and help finance a movie adaptation.
The original series cast will return for the film, alongside new additions Willis and Murray.
The Magic City movie will be directed by series creator Mitch Glazer, who previously worked with Murray on his 2010 directorial debut, Passion Play, starring Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox.
Moonrise Kingdom co-stars Murray and Willis have recently completed work on director Barry Levinson's new movie Rock the Kasbah.
United Artists via Everett Collection
It all starts with a mullet and an attitude. By the time that Patrick Swayze appeared as the legendary bouncer (or cooler) Dalton in 1989's Road House, he was two years removed from his star making turn in Dirty Dancing. Audiences already knew that he could dance, but nobody knew that he could rip a guy's throat out with his bare hands.
In the 25 years since its release, Road House has become a cult classic, both for its over-the-top fight scenes and Swayze's mock-philosophical dialogue and awesome hair. With its frequent appearances on cable television, it's never out of sight for very long, but we've compiled some fun facts to help you enjoy the greatest bad movie ever the next time you find yourself drawn in by the majesty of Swayze. Just remember the immortal words of Dalton: "I want you to be nice, until it's time not to be nice."
1. Although the film is set in the town of Jasper, Missouri, the exterior of the film's infamous bar The Double Deuce was built strictly for the filming on location in California and then was torn down. Some of the interiors were shot, however, in a real bar in Anaheim that has since closed.
2. Screenwriter David Lee Henry has said that Dalton was named after the town of Dalton, Georgia. He stopped at a bar there during a road trip and it ended up serving in part as the inspiration for his script.
3. Dalton is shown reading Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall, which is the basis for the 1994 Brad Pitt-Anthony Hopkins movie of the same name.
4. Movie trailers frequently feature parts that are subsequently cut before a film is released, but Road House has the unofficial record for the most occurrences of deleted scenes. The original trailer had at least five different clips that don't appear in the finished version.
5. The Jeff Healey Band, which serves as the house band of The Double Deuce, had their biggest hit "Angel Eyes" on the charts while Road House was still in theaters, but the song isn't from the movie. Healey, the blind Canadian guitarist, and his group recorded their album See the Light concurrently with the movie soundtrack.
6. In a sad coincidence, both Swayze and Ben Gazzara, who played Dalton's nemesis Brad Wesley, both died of pancreatic cancer… Swayze in 2009 and Gazzara in 2012.
7. As awesome as Swayze's mullet was, the actor himself didn't like it. In the book One Last Dance, Swayze's biographer Wendy Leigh quoted the actor as calling the Road House hair style the "bane of my existence."
8. Red West, who played the owner of the auto parts store (also named Red), was a high school friend of Elvis Presley. West was a charter member of Presley's "Memphis Mafia" and functioned as one of the singer's bodyguards into the 1970s.
9. Even though Dalton famously says that "Pain don't hurt," the axiom didn't apply to Swayze. Among the various ways he was banged up during shooting was when Marshall Teague, who played Jimmy (the bad guy who gets his throat ripped out), hit Swayze with what he thought was a prop log... only to find out that it was actual hard wood.
10. One of the fired bartenders from The Double Deuce was played by John Doe, better known to music fans as the founder of the punk band X.
11. Kevin Tighe, who played Dalton's boss, bar owner Frank Tilghman, was better known for his work on television. He was one of the stars of the '70s hit Emergency! and later played Locke's father on Lost.
12. Even though Swayze is shown practicing t'ai chi, Dalton never actually uses that particular style of martial arts in the movie's fight scenes. Instead he uses moves from various sources, including the Korean discipline of hapkido.
13. Annette Bening was originally cast as "Doc," the ER doctor played by Kelly Lynch.
14. Lynch said in an interview with The AV Club that Bill Murray and his brothers like to call her husband, screenwriter Mitch Glazer (Scrooged), every time that they see Road House on TV to remind him about her steamy sex scenes with Swayze.
15. Lynch reportedly spent a month hanging around a real emergency room to prepare for her role. She learned the proper way to sew a medical stitch… but then the script was changed so that she never got to showcase her new skill.
16. Dalton had a thing for Buicks. Before he leaves for Missouri the "beater" car that he drives to protect his prized Mercedes is a 1964 Buick Riviera. Once he gets to Jasper, he buys the 1965 edition of the same car model.
17. Just as he had with Dirty Dancing, Swayze sings on the soundtrack and his song "Cliff's Edge" is heard on a radio in the film.
18. The Otis Redding song "These Arms of Mine" is used during one of the love scenes between Swayze and Lynch. In Dirty Dancing, the same song is used during the initial love scene between Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
19. Kitschy stage director Timothy Haskell did an off-Broadway retelling of Road House in 2003 titled Road House: The Stage Version of the Cinema Classic That Starred Patrick Swayze Except This One Stars Taimak from the '80s Cult Classic 'The Last Dragon' Wearing a Blonde Mullet Wig.Try saying that three times fast.
20. Road House has been a running gag on both Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it was Crow's favorite movie, and in Family Guy, where Peter punctuates every fight by name-checking the film. Not to be outdone, teammates of Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton call him "Road House" thanks to his surname.
The actor ranted about the drama in a recent interview with New York Magazine's Vulture column and claimed the reason the film is set for a limited release was because it's "not very good"
Now Rourke, who plays a musician in Passion Play, has backtracked on his comments, admitting they were made in haste.
He tells Vulture, "Hey, guys. When I talked to you, I was at a party. It was loud and crowded, I was in a s**tty mood and I was trying to get rid of your reporter.
"Mitch is one of my best friends since we were kids. I loved working with him and would do it again tomorrow. I don't know why I said that stupid s**t. I love Mitch, I love Megan. My bad."
Apparently, America's favorite pastime is also Walt Disney Studio's new business model. Not two months after the studio picked up an untitled baseball pitch (no pun intended) with Bradley Cooper attached, it has now acquired a long-in-development sports project titled Million Dollar Arm, says THR.
Based on an Indian reality TV series, the project would focus on two young men from India, one a cricket player, the other a javelin thrower, who are plucked from their rural Hindi villages by a sports agent and join the minor leagues of American baseball. Through American pop-culture they learn how to make it in the sports world and in the United States. Columbia Pictures had been developing Million Dollar Arm for some time, but when the deal between producers Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth and parent company Sony began to dissolve, they brought it to the Mouse House - where all three have strong relationships.
Mitch Glazer, who is in post-production on the drama Passion Play, will pen the screenplay for the picture that is aiming for a similar tone to that of Disney's past sports-themed hits Miracle and The Rookie (both produced by Ciardi and Gray). Roth is valued commodity at the studio, having produced the billion dollar Alice In Wonderland and countless other top projects. He's also working on the Wizard of Oz prequel Oz, The Great and Powerful for Disney.
With successful power-players like Roth, Ciardi and Gray involved I should probably have more confidence in this project, but the fish-out-of-water element of this story is the only thing that Million Dollar Arm has going for it. Based on the plot description, it sounds like it's going to be in the vein of Cool Runnings, another enjoyable Disney hit that was set in the arena of bobsled racing. But part of me thinks feels that this is an act of desperation on Disney's part. They have had no luck this year at the box office outside of time-honored properties and family friendly franchises (Alice and Toy Story 3, respectively). Their star player - Jerry Bruckheimer - has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a pair of "four-quadrant tentpoles" that are top priority for new toppers Rich Ross and Sean Bailey that have barely broke even. The studio is in dire need of something fresh and friendly to audiences and I think that they are just running through the usual motions as they try to produce an easy-to-digest hit. Walt Disney Pictures should take a hint from Warner Bros: grow some balls and take a risk some time - as Inception has proved, it can pay off in so many unexpected ways.
Fox is currently shooting the film in New Mexico, playing an angel in 1950s Los Angeles who helps save a troubled trumpet player, portrayed by Mickey Rourke.
And now Murray has been drafted in to replace RocknRolla star Kebbell as a gangster in the drama, according to Production Weekly.
The project will see the actor reteam with director Mitch Glazer, who wrote the screenplay for Murray's 1988 cult Christmas movie Scrooged.
The Hollywood beauty will play a woman with wings who is under the control of a ruthless gangster and is eventually rescued by Rourke's character.
Fox confirmed the news to MTV, saying, "I'm doing a movie called Passion Play with Mickey Rourke. There is a love story there, it's clearly not going to be a typical one. My character is basically a circus freak, she lives in a cage and she has wings. She's not an angel, but she has these giant wings that grow out of her back. She's a freak and she's on display."
The movie has been written by screenwriter Mitch Glazer, famed for penning 1988 Bill Murray film Scrooged, who will also make his directing debut on Passion Play.
After weeks of back and forth, Mickey Rourke will take on the role of a Russian villain in Iron Man 2, according to media reports. Further, the actor has attached himself to Passion Plays, a Mitch Glazer-written and -directed indie.
The Iron Man 2 deal had been expected, but wrangling over salary was a hitch when Marvel reportedly offered the actor only $250,000. His quote is now said to have reached a "significant" level, says DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com.
Although reports say Marvel would not confirm Rourke's involvement yesterday, it is said that he'll play Whiplash, a character that includes elements from that comic book villain and Crimson Dynamo, another Russian baddie.
When news of Rourke's Iron Man involvement was first made public, there were conflicting reports as to whether he would be playing Whiplash or Crimson Dynamo.
Meanwhile, DHD also reports that Scarlett Johansson will take over the Black Widow role from Emily Blunt, who had to drop out because of a previous commitment to Fox under the terms of her Devil Wears Prada contract.
As for Passion Plays, the logline is being kept under wraps, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Rourke has been busy making deals since his lauded comeback role in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, having signed on for Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables and Indian gangster movie Broken Horses. He's also in the upcoming Hollywood glam tale The Informers.
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