Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Darren Aronofsky is developing a gritty heist thriller based on “the daring robbery of the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge, a £53 Million Sterling score (around $86 million US) thought to be masterminded by former mixed martial arts fighter and UFC star ‘Lightning’ Lee Murray.” Screenwriter Kerry Williamson (who also adapted Denis Hamill’s novel Fork in the Road for Alexander Payne) is adapting the script, which Aronofsky is eyeing as a directing vehicle. Details after the jump.
The underlying rights package that includes an article from an April 14th 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine titled Breaking the Bank by Jon Wertheim, and the non-fiction book Heist: The Inside Story of the World’s Biggest Robbery by Howard Sounes. The Tonbridge Securitas heist, which took place outside of London in February 2006, is valued at over $85M USD – dwarfing previous cash hauls including the infamous 1963 Great Train Robbery and 1978 JFK Lufthansa heist.
On Wednesday, 22 February 2006, GBP53 million in bank notes was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent — a sum of money so vast that if the notes were stacked up they would equal the height of high-rise building. In terms of value, the Tonbridge Securitas robbery puts all previous famous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery and the Brink’s-Mat bullion heist, in the shade; it also overshadows similar robberies overseas. Only in times of war have larger cash sums been stolen. This was a crime notable for its audacity, carried out in a small town in the Garden of England. A large number of people have been charged in connection with the Tonbridge robbery, with eleven men and women standing trial at the Old Bailey in summer 2007. Further details cannot be revealed at this stage, for legal reasons, but the full story will be told in Heist, by the author of one of the most successful true crime titles of recent years. Full of jaw-dropping detail and full of narrative pace, it will be the definitive account of these strange and compelling events.
This sounds like the perfect character-centered thriller for Aronofsky, who is quoted in the official press release as saying “The story is a very unique British heist tale with colorful London characters. I’ve always wanted to shoot in England and Kerry is the perfect writer to bring authenticity to this outrageous true bank job.” Williamson says that this project gives him “a chance to get back to my roots with raw, edgy, honest material.”
XYZ Films & Time Inc. Studios have partnered with Protozoa Pictures to produce the gritty heist thriller, with XYZ is fully financing the project’s development.