Crime pays. Well, kind of. According to THR (via Washington Daily Herald), 20-year-old Colton Harris-Moore — better known as The Barefoot Bandit — has signed a $1.3 million movie deal with 20th Century Fox. He won’t be keeping any for himself, though: He’ll have to put the whole thing toward the $1.4 million he owes in restitution to the victims of his two-year crime spree.
Harris-Moore‘s Seattle-based entertainment lawyer Lance Rosen says, “It’s very unusual for this kind of money to paid for anyone’s life story rights.” Indeed, but for this oddball project — which might just turn into the kind of PR gimmick Fox needs in the wake of parent company News Corp.’s shady UK shenanigans — it’s not really surprising. Plus, with Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk on board to pen the script (David Gordon Green has reportedly been approached to direct), this could turn into a sleeper hit.
Harris-Moore was already a well-known thief to his home community of Camano Island by the age of 10. By 15, his face was plastered all over a string of wanted posters. During a multi-state crime spree, he stole five planes, several boats, over a dozen cars and broke into homes and businesses before he was arrested in July of 2010 in the Bahamas. (The cops who ran him down apparently decided a hail of gunfire would be the best warning.)
This new film’s subject pleaded guilty to an array of felonies, including weapons violations, a bank theft, and several car and boat thefts. Part of his plea deal was signing this movie contract, and according to his defense attorney John Henry Browne, “The $1.3 million will be paid only if Fox exercises all the options.” Harris-Moore released this contrite statement:
“Getting money to my victims is the least I can do, and because of my situation it is probably the best I can do. In due time I hope to earn the forgiveness of my neighbors and community, and everyone else I’ve hurt. I will continue to do everything in my power to make things better. My commitment to that endeavor is what keeps me going.”
Doesn’t he sound adorable? No wonder Zac Efron is supposedly circling the role. Personally, I’m loathe to think about the implications of signing such a deal with thieving little bastards like this kid, but I hope his victims get their money before Rupert Murdoch swoops in and pockets it all.
Would you have any interest in seeing the movie? Has this little punk stolen anything from you?
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