Danny Boyle Will Unexpectedly Follow Up ‘Trance’ With Yet Another Heist Film


Over the course of his career we’ve seen director Danny Boyle make a drug drama, a don’t-call-it-a-zombie-movie, a high-minded sci-fi adventure, a real-life survival tale, and even the opening ceremonies of an Olympic Games. The point is that he’s a versatile artist who never seems to do the same sort of thing twice, so it’s surprising to hear that he’s following up his mind-bending art heist movie, Trance, with another project that’s going to be heavily steeped in the heist genre.

The news of Boyle’s new job comes from Variety, who report that, after seeing a documentary about jewel thieves called Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers earlier this year, the director decided that the material presented in the doc was ripe to be turned into a dramatic feature. So ripe, in fact, that he set out to make this hypothetical adaptation his next film, and it wasn’t long after he made these intentions clear that his regular distributor, Fox Searchlight, came on board and helped make the dream a reality. By all accounts, a Boyle-directed dramatic version of Smash & Grab is now go.

The original documentary takes a look at a series of robberies that were committed by what’s thought to be a loose confederation of a couple dozen or so criminals from Serbia and Montenegro. It stylishly combines security cam footage with interviews with wanted criminals that have been strategically animated over in order to obscure their identities, creating a visual style that’s easy to imagine capturing the eye of a filmmaker who’s known for being as slick and stylish as Boyle.

For those of us who haven’t yet gotten a chance to see the documentary in question, here’s the trailer for the film, which gives a pretty good idea of what a Boyle-interpreted version of the story could look like. The doc seems to put you directly inside the robberies, and clearly these scenarios are the sorts of things that could work as great clay to be molded into the frantic, kinetic action scenes that Boyle is always great at putting together. The possibilities are exciting to think about, even if we just saw him tackle the heist genre not too long ago.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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