Since the story of D.B. Cooper — in short: anonymous guy hijacks plane for money, receives money, jumps out of plane, is never seen again — just kind of feels like something a screenwriter would devise, I’m all for a movie that explores this murky American legend. I just didn’t expect the director of Easy A and Friends with Benefits to give the man his cinematic due.
But, according to Deadline, Will Gluck is CBS Films’ favorite to helm and produce Skyjack, an action-comedy that approaches this tale from one of its only logical points: multiple perspectives. Instead of making one of the many suspects its main subject and rolling from there, the film — which, it should be said, is based on a novel by Geoffrey Gray — will follow events told by three different men who have claimed to be him over the past few decades. Overlaps, conflicts, and inconsistencies should only be part of the fun.
It’s just not the kind of story I would’ve normally pegged as a comedy — seeing as, you know, this was a federal crime that created a widespread investigation — but that doesn’t necessarily preclude a viewer from laughing at someone who stole $200,000 by jumping out of a plane and, possibly, never got to use the money. Gluck‘s style of snarky, zing-filled humor is, thus, an entirely different question; given my own interest in this story, I pray screenwriter Keith Bunin sticks to his and Gray‘s own stylings when shaping the characters and tone. He can dictate everything else when behind the camera.
Here’s a longer synopsis of the book (via Amazon):
“Starting with a tip from a private investigator into a promising suspect (a Cooper lookalike, Northwest employee, and trained paratrooper), Gray is propelled into the murky depths of a decades-old mystery, conducting new interviews and obtaining a first-ever look at Cooper’s FBI file. Beginning with a heartstopping and unprecedented recreation of the crime itself, from cabin to cockpit to tower, and uncanny portraits of characters who either chased Cooper or might have committed the crime, including Ralph Himmelsbach, the most dogged of FBI agents, who watched with horror as a criminal became a counter-culture folk hero who supposedly shafted the system…Karl Fleming, a respected reporter whose career was destroyed by a Cooper scoop that was a scam…and Barbara (nee Bobby) Dayton, a transgendered pilot who insisted she was Cooper herself.”
Is it nice to see Cooper’s film get the screen treatment? Will Gluck do it justice?
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