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‘The Raid’ Helmer Gareth Evans Signs With Universal for UFC Crime Film ‘Breaking the Bank’

Written by on May 4, 2012 

Having directed one of the most acclaimed action films of the past few years years, it was only a matter of time before a big studio put Gareth Evans on their payroll. The victor in this race is Universal, who Deadline says will be distributing Breaking the Bank, a true-life story that employs a combination he’s already mastered: crime and martial arts fighting.

Based on two sources (Howard Sounes‘ book, Heist: The True Story of the World’s Biggest Cash Robbery, and L. Jon Wertheim‘s article, Breaking the Bank) the film revolves around “Lightning” Lee Murray, a UFC fighter who spent some of his free time in the criminal underworld, even going on to orchestrate a 2006 heist that nabbed more than 53 million pounds. The Kerry Williamson-penned film — once a potential vehicle for Darren Aronofsky — will, presumably, explore both sides of his life and how they eventually meshed, while the aftermath of that excursion will surely be explored, too. (Short story: He’s in jail for a very, very long time.)

This leaves us with a few questions about his pending sequel, Berandal — known here as The Raid: Retaliation — a film that he already has some big plans for. Most might assume it gets delayed, but with Sony Pictures Classics also signed to handle that one, I’d think that goes forward before anything else; I’m just making (slightly) educated guesses here, however.

When all that’s put to the side, Breaking the Bank sounds far more interesting and potential-filled than your typical action film, thanks in no small part to the fascinating subject and entertaining implications behind it. If Evans can take the crazy action of his earlier work and put it into a film released in thousands of theaters, at least one good thing will have come from this endeavor.

Are you excited to see Evans get a big job such as this? What do you make of Breaking the Bank as a whole?

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