Darren Aronofsky Planning a Giant Heist Movie

By  · Published on September 21st, 2009

According to our friends at /Film, The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky is currently developing a movie based on “the daring robbery of the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge, a £53 Million Sterling score (around $86 million US) thought to be masterminded by former mixed martial arts fighter and UFC star ‘Lightning’ Lee Murray.”

Screenwriter Kerry Williamson is adapting the script, which Aronofsky is looking to as a directing vehicle. Peter over at /Film also dug up the fact that the film is based on an article from an April 14, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine titled Breaking the Bank by Jon Wertheim, and the non-fiction book Heist: The Inside Story of the World’s Biggest Robbery by Howard Sounes. Here’s a quick synopsis of the book:

On Wednesday, 22 February 2006, GBP53 million in bank notes was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent – a sum of money so vast that if the notes were stacked up they would equal the height of high-rise building. In terms of value, the Tonbridge Securitas robbery puts all previous famous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery and the Brink’s-Mat bullion heist, in the shade; it also overshadows similar robberies overseas. Only in times of war have larger cash sums been stolen. This was a crime notable for its audacity, carried out in a small town in the Garden of England. A large number of people have been charged in connection with the Tonbridge robbery, with eleven men and women standing trial at the Old Bailey in summer 2007. Further details cannot be revealed at this stage, for legal reasons, but the full story will be told in Heist, by the author of one of the most successful true crime titles of recent years. Full of jaw-dropping detail and full of narrative pace, it will be the definitive account of these strange and compelling events.

This sounds like an interesting movie for Aronofsky, who has been itching to find a big time character-driven thriller for a while now. He’s been talking about doing a Robocop reboot for some time, which had fans excited, but has since let that film go by the wayside. He is most actively working on Black Swan, the project that made news when it was revealed that Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman might, theoretically have a sexy scene together in it. Which brings us to question number one: when is Aronofsky planning on making this film?

The second question I have is how much money will be injected into this project, which is currently being financed by XYZ films (which is a very new company that is trying to make that DeLorean biopic with their producing partners Time Inc. Studios. Chances are that this film will get a medium-sized budget. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, necessarily, but independent funding could help this film get made in a timely manner. So that might affect the production timetable of Black Swan. Then again, who knows.. details are still coming in and Aronofsky hasn’t even committed to directing this film yet, just producing. We will keep digging around in the dirt on this one and let you know what we find.

What do you think about Aronofsky directing a heist film?

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)