Antoine Fuqua is quickly turning into one of “those” directors, the kind who get involved with a bunch of films, but does so without actually committing to one. There’s been the Tupac Shakur biopic, the prison escape drama starring Bruce Willis, the epic about a Chinese Tang Dynasty concubine, and, most recently, a boxing movie that may star Eminem. There is now another one to add to the pile.
As Deadline tells us, he’s signed on to direct an adaptation of the non-fiction book Storming Las Vegas: How a Cuban-Born, Soviet-Trained Commando Took Down The Strip to the Tune of Five World Class Hotels, Three Armored Cars, and Millions of Dollars by John Huddy. Luckily for all of us, the title is being shortened to just Storming Las Vegas.
The book tells the story of Jason Vigoa, a “Cuban-born commando veteran of the Soviet army” who went on a crime spree in the titular city over the span of sixteen months. Pursuing him was a 23-year veteran of the police, Lt. John Alamshaw, who had to go after the criminal and his gang without alerting people to his quest, which would ruin the good reputation that the city had tried to build up over the preceding years.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing, and seeing as he’s the man behind big hits like the Transformers trilogy and G.I. Joe, it’s safe to say that he has a penchant for turning out hits. This doesn’t necessarily have the same box office appeal those others ones did, but this already has something of a financial advantage behind it.
The vibe I’m getting the most here is Public Enemies, as the two stories (and respective subjects) sound quite similar. That was a movie I loved, and one which was, in my opinion, greatly misunderstood; if this is anything like that, I take it as a good sign. The problem lies in the director, because the only thing of Fuqua‘s I can fully recall is Training Day — while a very good film, nothing he’s managed to do since then has left me that impressed. This actually sounds like promising material, something I can’t really say for almost any of the projects listed above. All we need to hear about next is him getting to work on this — something that’s alluded him lately — before more can be said.
You can read a synopsis of the book below (via Amazon):
Las Vegas had just launched its new blitz of advertising—advancing itself not as Sin City but as a family-friendly vacation destination—when Jose Vigoa (a Cuban-born commando veteran of the Soviet Army) hit town in the late 1990s. Vigoa and a small crew embarked on a violent 16-month crime wave, targeting some of the Strip’s most prominent (and, as Vigoa showed, vulnerable) institutions. A 23-year veteran of the Las Vegas Police Force, Lt. John Alamshaw was charged with finding and capturing the men behind the crime spree—without allowing the robberies to become national news and spoil Vegas’s new image. Huddy traces Vigoa’s personal history from his childhood in Castro’s Cuba to fighting for the Red Army in Afghanistan, his return to Cuba and eventual resettlement in the United States. Then he chronicles the Cuban’s increasingly audacious grabs for Vegas riches and his ultimate sentencing to more than 500 years in prison with no possibility of parole.
Do you like Fuqua’s work, and does this sound like a good project for him to handle? Have you read the book?
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