Legendary Author Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

Elmore Leonard

We constantly bash Hollywood for their lack of originality, but one good thing they did when borrowing ideas was use the works of Elmore Leonard. Leonard wrote the original books for what would become Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, the show Justified and many others. His brand of hard-boiled, but silky smooth dialogue with unforgettable characters made him a literary legend. Unfortunately, that legend is no longer with us. Elmore Leonard passed away Tuesday at the age of 87.

A film adaptation of Leonard’s novel The Switch, retitled Life of Crime, will premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Hopefully, that won’t be the last of Leonard’s forty plus novels to make their way to the big screen.

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We’ve been calling Switch a prequel to Jackie Brown, because both films are based on novels by Elmore Leonard, and Switch will feature the characters Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, originally played by Robert De Niro and Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.

John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) play the two guys in this film, and they were recently joined by Ty Burrell. Now the cast has also added Dennis Quaid and Jennifer Aniston as two of the story’s most important characters. Read More »

Ty Burrell has had a pretty great career trajectory: he went from being a bit player in Black Hawk Down to (very effectively) acting like a total dickhead in Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake to being a core part of one of the most praised shows on TV, Modern Family.

Now the recent Emmy winner will be in Dan Schechter‘s Switch, which is effectively a prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Read More »

John Hawkes as a young Robert De Niro and Mos Def as a young Samuel L. Jackson? Sounds fantastic and it’s actually happening. Hawkes and yasiin bey (Mos Def’s new name) will star in Switch, based on an Elmore Leonard novel, written and directed by Dan Schechter. They’ll play Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie respectively, characters made famous by De Niro and Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie BrownSwitch takes places 15 years before Tarantino’s film (itself an adaptation of Leonard’s novel Rum Punch) and features Louis and Ordell as they attempt to kidnap a corrupt real estate broker. There’s much more after the break. Read More »

We had a couple of days where mid-level casting for a lot of projects was going crazy. Maybe there was something in the air; maybe casting directors and agents just all got together and had a field day. It’s been a bit slower today, but still there are a couple of items to catch up on. After the break, you’ll find info on how:

  • Robin Williams appears to be cast in Gently Down the Stream, with Robert De Niro and Susan Sarandon.
  • Joel David Moore (Avatar) will be in Oliver Stone’s Savages.
  • and Katie Cassidy takes the lead in Freaky Deaky. Read More »

If writer/director Charles Matthau was looking to get everyone’s attention for his upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky, mission accomplished. A few months back, he got a good start by casting William H. Macy in a major role and today he upped the ante by getting Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Craig Robinson to join the film about a couple of former hippies who use bomb making skills to extort millions of dollars. Dillon plays an LAPD office who becomes wise to the scam, Fraser is one of the hippies, Macy is the millionaire mark and Robinson is his former Black Panther assistant. Read More »

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willim-h-macy-freaky-deaky

The books of Elmore Leonard have been source material for a wide variety of films good and bad, from Out of Sight, Rum Punch (aka Jackie Brown) and Get Shorty, to losers like Be Cool, Killshot and The Big Bounce.

Now one more is being added to the pile, as Walter Matthau’s son Charles Matthau is preparing to direct an adaptation of Freaky Deaky, with William H. Macy starring. Read More »

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