stopwatch gang movie

Universal Pictures is picking up the movie rights to the story of a three-man team of bank robbers whose exploits in the 1980s were notorious for meticulous planning and swift execution, with nary a shot fired in roughly 100 robberies. Now the story will be turned into a film with Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) directing and Miles Teller in a lead role.

The Wrap reports. The film is based on Josh Dean’s article ‘The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang,’ which originally ran in The Atavist. Scott Stuber will produce through Bluegrass Films.

A brief on The Atavist describes the story:

They were in and out in less than two minutes—that’s how they got away with millions. And for the duration of their reign, no bank robbers were more feared (though they never fired their guns) nor more pursued or more mythologized than the Stopwatch Gang. The members themselves were straight out of central casting: Lionel Wright, a meticulous introvert who could disappear in a room full of people; Paddy Mitchell, a charming and well-connected crook who saw an angle in everything and would go to any lengths to avoid the hell of being locked away; and Stephen Reid, a fearless point man who could find the weakness in any system and whose story—of addiction and descent into crime, of redemption and literary fame—was all prelude to a tragic but life-saving fall from grace.

We don’t know who Teller will play. It seems pretty reasonable to expect that he’ll play Paddy Mitchell, but we could also see him cast as Stephen Reid, who is also the source of much of the information in the Atavist article.

Ruben Fleischer and Miles Teller have worked together before, on the 2014 film Two Night Stand, which Fleischer produced. Before this, we’ll see Teller in Fantastic Four and Insurgent. This is a project Universal is just picking up, so there’s no shoot date or release schedule yet.

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