Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Dustin Lance Black Writing & Directing 'The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight,' Says It Could Be 'When Harry Met Sally' For Younger Generation

The Playlist By Jen Vineyard | The Playlist May 29, 2012 at 9:58AM

Dustin Lance Black isn't letting the rough-and-tumble experience he had with his directorial debut "Virginia" deter him from taking charge of any further films -- in fact, he's already got two in the works.
5

The script by Black that is set for shooting, however, will be "The Barefoot Bandit," which David Gordon Green was slated to direct but is now getting a new director. ("I'm not going to say who it is until the deal is done, but it's someone exciting," Black teased). The story concerns the real-life case of Colton Harris-Moore, who started stealing at the age of eight, and as a teenager was accused of committing some 100 thefts in Washington, Idaho, and Canada, swiping bikes, cars, speedboats, and small aircraft. In the Pacific Northwest, he became a folk hero of sorts -- he even has a fanclub -- for stealing from the rich, even though he stole from the not-so-rich as well.

"I didn't start writing that one until he was caught," Black said. "I was researching it, and I was interested in it, but I didn't know him yet. I thought, 'What if he ends up not being the kid I think he might be? What if he's actually a sociopath? Or dangerous? How on earth am I going to write this thing then?'"

Harris-Moore's justification for stealing was that he had an abusive father who walked out on the family, and that his alcoholic mother raised him in the woods in a mobile home, using her disability checks on beer and cigarettes instead of food. So the teenager would steal his food from other people's homes or stores, and found a way to steal survival gear. He allegedly stole someone's credit card information to buy night vision goggles and bear mace in one incident. His crimes escalated to stealing transportation to break into homes on nearby islands, and snagging an assault rifle from a deputy's car, which made police consider him "armed and dangerous."

Once Harris-Moore was captured, Black had access to him in prison, got to know him, and was satisfied. "When you meet him, you get it," the screenwriter said. "You understand what he was up against, and that he was just surviving in the extreme, and it just got more extreme because he's goddamn brilliant. He's so smart." Plus, more importantly, "He didn't hurt anybody," Black said. "I would have backed out of the project if he had.

Black said the ending of the story, Harris-Moore's capture and sentencing -- true to life -- will be "cinematic and moving." "The judge who sentenced him started out by saying, 'This is a story of the triumph of the human spirit,'" Black said, "And I agree. I get tearful just talking about him."

Other than that, Black has one more "big" project for Universal in the works that he can't reveal just yet, but that's it for now. "I think that's enough!" he laughed.

"Virginia" is now playing limited release.

This article is related to: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, Dustin Lance Black, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man, David Gordon Green, The Barefoot Bandit


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates