With JJ Abrams having a seemingly ridiculous number of projects on his plate at any one time, it’s not susprising some take longer to get going than others. Last March he and Paramount acquired the rights to a Wired magazine article, titled The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist, by Joshua Davis, with plans to turn it into a movie.
However it’s taken them over a year to really start work in earnest, with THR now reporting that Abrams has hired Phil Alden Robinson (best known for writing and directing Field Of Dreams), to write the screenplay for the film. Robinson already knows a thing or two about heists, having written and directed Sneakers.
The article the film will be based on tell the true story of an audacious heist in Antwerp in 2003, where a group of Italian thieves managed to get past 10 layers of security to enter a vault under the Antwerp Diamond Centre, before making off with over $100 million in jewels and precious metals (the precise value isn’t known, because of confidentiality and security concerns). However with little news coming out beyond the initial announcement that the jewels were gone and that later several men were arrested and convicted of the crime, Joshua Davis spent six year piecing together exactly how the men had overcome one of the most elaborate security systems in the world.
That will now become the basis for the film, although it’ll be interesting to see how they pitch it, as thieves stealing diamonds for profit aren’t automatically the most sympathetic of heroes.