Josh Duhamel is in the driver’s seat this week with Highland Film Group announcing casting for Gridlocked director Allan Ungar’s latest, Bandit.
Kraig Wenman adapted the biopictoral heist thriller from Robert Knuckle’s 1996 novel, “The Flying Bandit, Bringing Down Canada’s Most Daring Armed Robber”; The book is comprised of journalist Ed Arnold’s interviews with Gilbert Galvan Jr., who lived under the name Robert Whiteman when he was dubbed the Flying Bandit in 1987.
Bandit sees Duhmael in the role of “a charming and daring career criminal (Duhamel) who escapes from a US prison and crosses the border into Canada where he assumes a new identity. After falling in love with a woman that he can’t provide for, he turns to robbing banks and discovers that he’s exceptionally good at it. But as he gets addicted to the rush and the jobs become more dangerous, his notoriety is growing in record time. Detective Snydes, a brilliant cop determined to take down Canada’s most wanted bank robber at all costs, starts the manhunt with the help of a special police task force. What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game as the two men attempt to outsmart one another in a cross-country pursuit.”
As a point of note, Galvan was known for his disguises and planning of more than 63 bank and jewelry heists, but it was his flare that gained notoriety. A collector of the frequent flyer program, Galvan would fly himself first class to different cities across the country, sometimes robbing 3 banks in the same day before flying home for dinner. Galvan still holds a record for the most consecutive robberies in Canadian history.
Eric Gozlan will produce under his Goldrush Entertainment banner.
Duhamel, whose credits include select titles of the Transformers franchise, as well as The Show and Love, Simon, is exec producing next to Ungar and Wenman, and Highland’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier.
“This is a bold and thrilling story and I couldn’t be more excited to do it with Josh, Goldrush, and Highland Film Group. We can’t wait to introduce audiences to both an action-packed and amazing untold account of one of the most daring and charismatic criminals in modern history,” said Ungar.
“We are thrilled to have the super talented Josh Duhamel play the incredible true story of one of the most interesting robbers in known history. Bandit is both appealing to those who crave classic heist thriller stories but also to those who did not know yet that they could love the genre. It is a class act,” said Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser. “Knuckle’s best-selling book based on the true story of Flying Bandit has classic status. Kraig did a terrific job with the screenplay and with Allan, we found the perfect director to bring the story to audiences in the most brilliant way,” continued Highland Film Group COO Delphine Perrier.
Duhamel was last seen in sleeper hit The Lost Husband, which was one of the most watched films on Netflix when it was released this summer. He can next be seen starring in his directorial debut The Buddy Games which is set to be released on November 24, as well as the upcoming Netflix series ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’. Seperately, the actor is currently on location in Mexico City shooting action thriller, Blackout, which is on the AFM sales slate from XYZ Films.
Duhmael is repped by ICM Partners and John Carrabino management. Ungar is repped by Verve, World Builder Entertainment, and The Characters Talent Agency. Wenman is repped by APA and Zero Gravity Management.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.