by: Donna Whitehead
We’re hearing that Jeff Bridges is in negotiations to star in Paramount Pictures’ ANTWERP. The film, based on the “Wired” article “The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist” by Joshua Davis, tells the story of an unprecedented burglary that took place in Antwerp in 2003. J.J. Abrams is producing through his Bad Robot banner, along with Rick Jacobs and David Alpert through Circle of Confusion; Davis will executive produce. Doug Jung is set to write the screenplay.
The project has been in development for several years, now; Abrams originally optioned the rights after Davis’ article’s publication in 2009, and it wasn’t until a year later that “Field of Dreams” writer Phil Alden Robinson was brought in to pen the script. Robinson fell out, and last year Jung was brought in.
Jung’s history in feature films is short, but his future looks long. So far, his only script to make it to screen is the 2003 thriller “Confidence,” starring Rachel Weisz. But he has a lot of experience writing for television–he’s produced and written for “Big Love” and “Dark Blue,” and currently writes for the Cinemax action series “Banshee”–and his upcoming film slate is much busier. Among a number of other projects, his adaptation of Eric Jager’s book “The Last Duel” is set to be directed by Martin Scorsese.
The last heist movie Bridges appeared in was 1974’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” which wasn’t exactly a traditional example of the genre–though it did net Bridges a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Bridges can take on any genre, though, from the comedy of “The Big Lebowski” to the cool action of “Tron” to the grim drama of “True Grit.” There’s no word on what character Bridges would be playing in “Antwerp”–villain or hero–but as with genres, he’s perfectly capable of both, as his wildly divergent roles in “Iron Man,” cult gymnastics comedy “Stick It,” and the upcoming adaptation of “The Giver” show.
No director has been set at this point, and hopefully Paramount will pick someone good (it’s probably too much to hope that they can lure Steven Soderbergh back into the film business), but I’ll probably see it no matter who ends up at the helm. Heist movie + Jeff Bridges = I’m there.