Most film fans now know the name DeLorean thanks to Back to the Future, but there is a very topical story to tell of the man behind the car. A couple months ago we told you that Brett Ratner would be directing a John DeLorean biopic written by James Toback. But that isn’t the only DeLorean biopic in development, actually there are two others. One is based on the life rights of DeLorean’s attorney Mayer Morganroth and another put together by Time Inc. Studios and XYZ Films based on articles from Time and Fortune in addition to the book Grand Delusions and an unpublished memoir written by DeLorean. Today we have news on the latter.
Alex Holmes (HBO’s House of Saddam) has signed on to direct the XYZ Films/Time Inc. Studios project, which will tell the story of “how the auto industry maverick’s glamorous life came crashing down when he was caught in an FBI drug trafficking sting, only to be acquitted on grounds of entrapment.” The script, which Holmes developed with co-writer Rob Warr, is based on the underlying rights package secured by the producers. Here is an excerpt from the press release:
“At the center of the rights package is DeLorean’s son Zachary, the executor of the DeLorean estate, and who has committed the estate’s full support on the project. Additional rights secured by producers include John’s own unpublished memoirs, articles from FORTUNE and TIME (including the 1982 cover story, The Bottom Line…BUSTED. DeLorean’s Shattered Dream), and Hillel Levin’s book GRAND DELUSIONS. Holmes and Warr previously collaborated on the BAFTA award winning BBC TV series DUNKIRK.”
John’s son Zachary DeLorean even issued a statement complete with his blessing: “There are other producers out there trying to make a movie about my father, but this is the only one I’m standing behind, and the only one the DeLorean estate is allowing.”
The Time/XYZ picture is being sold as a ‘truthful telling’ of the designer’s life. Ratner calls his take “a very timely parable of the extraordinary arrogance of a particular brand of American capitalism.” This project is hoping to win the race to the bigscreen before the other two DeLorean films. For those who don’t know about DeLorean’s history, here is a quick bio put together by /Film’s Russ Fischer:
“DeLorean designed the Pontiac GTO and headed up Chevrolet as the Corvette and Camaro were redesigned and the Nova introduced in 1970. In the early ’80s he released the now-iconic DMC-12, now known simply as the DeLorean, through his own DeLorean Motor Corporation. But the company struggled from ’81 to ’82, and when the exec was approached by a man with an investment opportunity that might save his company, he entered negotiations. The guy, James Hoffman, turned out to be a former drug smuggler who’d become an FBI informant, and he gradually laid out a plan to smuggle cocaine and launder the proceeds. DeLorean would provide seed money, but he quickly felt that he was being railroaded into the plan, and delivered a sealed letter to his attorney describing the deal and his fears before the thing actually went down. The legal complications that ensued involved Larry Flynt (who leaked the FBI sting videotape in which DeLorean’s daughter was threatened) and eventually led to an acquittal. But by that point the company was done.”Cool Posts From Around the Web: