Wayne Kramer to Helm Film About Gangster Pretty Boy Floyd
Though many crime thrillers are simply slightly different variations on familiar stories about undercover or corrupt cops and the diabolical criminals they pursue, audiences usually can't get enough of them. Recently audiences went back in time with Public Enemies, the period crime thriller about John Dillinger played by Johnny Depp. Now Risky Biz reports that writer/director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared) will bring us the story of another infamous gangster from the past with Pretty Boy Floyd, a crime thriller focusing on Charles Arthur Floyd, a gangster whose crime wave swept across the Midwest in the 20s & 30s.
Written by Kevin Bernhardt, the story follows the criminal who became known as "The Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills" as he committed bank robbery, highway robbery and may have been involved in The Kansas City Massacre, a gunfight that resulted in the death of four police officers. While the death of any person is a tragic loss, especially those brave enough to wear the shield, to call that event a "massacre" kind of screams hyperbole. Either way, the story doesn't set out to glorify the life of crime as Kramer explains his approach:
"My approach is to bring 21st century style and energy to Kevin Bernhardt’s meticulously researched screenplay without sacrificing the verisimilitude of the period or over-sensationalizing the characters themselves. At the heart of 'Pretty Boy Floyd' is a great love story about an outlaw on the run who can’t stay away from the woman he loves, no matter how destructive the relationship is for both of them -- which ultimately leads to his demise."
Sounds a little too similar to Public Enemies (Channing Tatum portrayed Floyd in that flick), although I was never really sold on the poorly developed romance between Dillinger and Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) so maybe Kramer will get a better grasp on the love story. And I'm especially on board if he stays true to his intentions to avoid sensationalism and the glorification of the world of crime. I know an old film professor of mine who just wouldn't be very pleased if I didn't scrutinize a film based around organized crime or the mafia that adhered to all the cliches that usually cause frat boys to put up Scarface posters on their walls.
GoodFellas is one of those movies that approaches the life of crime with realism, complete with all the fear, paranoia and lack of sanity that comes with it. While hoping for a Scorsese caliber film is shooting for the moon, having enjoyed The Cooler quite a bit, I'm interested to see if Kramer can craft a similar film around a famous gangster from the past like Pretty Boy Floyd. After all, there's certainly no happy ending for Floyd anyway since he met his end in 1934 at only 30 years old. Do you guys like the sounds of this project?