William H. Macy is Getting 'Freaky Deaky' for Charles Matthau
If you've seen films like Get Shorty, 3:10 to Yuma and Jackie Brown then you may already be somewhat familiar with the writing of author Elmore Leonard (even if you don't know it). Leonard is responsible for the books that inspired those films and it looks like yet another of his works is headed to the big screen. Variety reports the crime novel Freaky Deaky will be adapted by director Charles Matthau (son of the late, great actor Walter Matthau). Deadline adds even more news into the mix as they report William H. Macy will star in the story of 60's radicals who use their bomb-making skills to become capitalists in 1974.
Specifically, the film focuses on two former lovers who are extreme radicals with a talent for bomb making. After several years and prison terms apart, they reunite to steal millions from their accomplice Woody Ricks (Macy), an alcoholic millionaire with a passion for show tunes, showgirls and a knack for avoiding getting blown up. But they draw the attention of police and a bomb squad, especially one cop with bomb training of his own. Myriad Pictures is producing the adaptation which is making a few changes from the source material, but Leonard is fully aware and completely supports the differences between his book and the script for the forthcoming crime thriller.
Apparently the original story actually takes place in the 80's, but has been changed to take place specifically in 1974 to spice up the backdrop of the story and allow for a younger cast to step into the characters' shoes. Here's what Matthau told Deadline about the time period change:
"We could have left it in 1988, where the characters are kind of old and the period boring. Or we could have contemporized it, made them eco-terrorists, cast out of AARP and made a cross between 'Easy Rider' and 'Cocoon.' Elmore, who read all the other scripts, came up with 1974. It made the cast younger, which made the film an easier sell. And the period was exciting, because it was when these 60's political radicals rejoined society, and there was Patty Hearst and the SLA, and Nixon resigning.”
Leonard's justification is a little more simple as he says, "I figured all you would really need is a bunch of older cars. And nobody wants to see a bunch of old fogies.” At least no drastic sacrifices had to be made in order to get people interested in the story. Lenoard's novels have seen a wide variety of style in their film adaptations from the dark comedy of Get Shorty to the gritty Jackie Brown, and since I'm not familiar with Matthau's work as a director, I'm not sure what to expect from him. The story certainly sounds intriguing, so we'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.