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Isla Fisher Next for ‘Jackie Brown’ Prequel ‘Switch’

Written by on November 14, 2012 

We last received news on Switch in February, a point when the cast seemed pretty well-rounded and all other vitals sounded to be in check. Given that status and its silence from that point forward, I figured the thing had quietly shot and was, hence, in one state of post-production or another. Not so, however, and ,for one reason or another, Dan Schechter (recently behind the entertaining comedy Supporting Characters) hasn’t been able to get things going on this front — because even being a prequel to Quentin Tarantino‘s Jackie Brown wasn’t enough. Until now.

Switch, now without an actual title, is expected to start filming around February — basically, a year since news had started to file in — and with a strong extra member to its lineup. Variety tell us the project is getting bolstered by Isla Fisher, who will take a part fans of the aforementioned 1997 film know very well: Melanie, the female accomplice of gun runner Ordell Robbie (played here by Yasiin Bey, also known as Mos Def). This iteration sounds an awful lot like Bridget Fonda‘s character, with her also being a “loyalty-free [and] manipulative” nuisance who messes with the main plans in ways no one anticipated.

It’s possible I’m wrong on this count, but memory leads me to think Louis Gara — Ordell’s partner, played by Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown and set to be portrayed by John Hawkes in Schechter‘s film — wasn’t acquainted with Melanie at the original film’s start. (This is set fifteen years before the story we all know, which should make her… five?) Save for some revisionist history — or, in that sense, a more direct adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s original novel, which means it’s not exactly a Tarantino prequel — that ought to tell us a bit about her role. “Ought to,” if not “absolutely does.”

Switch (let’s just call it that for now), by the way, follows Robbie and Gara in their earlier days, when these two kidnapped the wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a shady real estate developer (once meant for Dennis Quaid) in Detroit. A simple money-grabbing scheme, but one that goes off the rails when he decides not to pay their ransom and she, being in this bind, uses them as her own tools of revenge. (A switch is likely to factor in down the line.) A very Leonard-ian plot that sounds like a lot of fun, prior associations or none.

With things back on track, has Switch entered your radar once again? Does Isla Fisher impact that at all?

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