The Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def Will Play Ordell Robbie In Prequel To "Jackie Brown"

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 1, 2012 10:41 PM
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I remember a prequel being announced back in 2010; at the time there wasn't much info on it - definitely not who would star. 

Fast-forward to today's announcement that Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) and John Hawkes (star of Sundance 2012 hit The Surrogate) have signed on to star in the film, to be directed by Dan Schechter from his own script adaption.

Titled The Switch, based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name (the original 1997 film, Jackie Brown, which starred Pam Grier, was also based on an Elmore Leonard novel, titled Rum Punch).

Here's a synopsis:

Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they're out, they're joining forces for one big score. The plan is to kidnap the wife of a wealthy Detroit developer and hold her for ransom. But they didn't figure the lowlife husband wouldn't want his lady back. So it's time for Plan B and the opportunity to make a real killing -- with the unlikely help of a beautiful, ticked-off housewife who's hungry for a large helping of sweet revenge.

So obviously the prequel will focus on the relationship between Ordell and Gara, characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro in the original film, and now will be played by Yasiin Bey and John Hawkes.

Sorry, it looks like there'll be no Jackie Brown in this one.

And, by the way, Quentin Tarantino won't have anything to do with this, although he gives his "blessings."

So, expect a whole new look both in front and behind the camera.

Jackie Brown was both a commercial and critical success, raking in over $72 million in box office worldwide, on a $12 million budget. It also earned co-star Robert Forster an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and was recently givne the Blu-ray treatment.

I'm mos def (pun intended) curious about this prequel, and its cast. 

Shooting is scheduled to begin this May, so we might be talking about it early next year. Don't be surprised by a Sundance 2013 premiere.

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6 Comments

  • Miles Ellison | February 5, 2012 12:23 AMReply

    Whether or not films based on Elmore Leonard novels work is based on whether they get a good director or some hack. There have been some pretty bad movies based on good Leonard novels (Stick and Heat come to mind). When a good, engaged director and screenwriter are involved the results are good-to-great (Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, Out of Sight). Justified is one of the best shows on TV right now.

  • Tamara | February 10, 2012 12:23 PM

    Agreed.

  • Tamara | February 2, 2012 9:47 AMReply

    Curious, too. Elmore Leonard likes his Detroit, doesn't he? You get that a bit in "Fire in the Hole" (JUSTIFIED) and also, especially here with the kidnapping wife bit, it reminded me of "Out of Sight" and Cheadle and Zahn and Washington's plan to kidnap/hold hostage/get the diamonds from Albert Brooks...in his palatial Detroit mansion. Remember that? Good stuff. "Jackie Brown" is my favorite Tarantino work...thanks due also to Elmore Leonard.

  • Chris L. Robinson | February 2, 2012 7:50 AMReply

    John Hawkes fan since Deadwood. Could be good.

  • Neziah | February 1, 2012 11:04 PMReply

    Hmm...

  • Laura | February 1, 2012 11:00 PMReply

    Will be checking it out. I like Yasiin Bey and I am a fan of John Hawkes.

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