20th Century Fox Pays $1.3 Million for Barefoot Bandit's Movie Deal
But the 20-year-old "Barefoot Bandit" won't make a penny of it. THR reports that 20th Century Fox has paid nearly $1.3 million for the life story rights ("movie and ancillary rights") of Colton Harris-Moore, the infamous Barefoot Bandit who was the talk of the internet early last year when TIME profiled his illegal escapades, stealing cars, boats and even planes (which he later crashed). Colton was eventually captured by the FBI and will be using the money from this deal to pay back the "victims" of those he stole from. "I have absolutely zero interest in profiting from any of this and I won't make a dime off it. It all goes to restitution."
This news seems a bit odd, because we also reported last year that Rough House Pictures had acquired a project called Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw, that was about the Barefoot Bandit as well. Though I'm sure if you pay enough, the life rights supersede any script about the story, especially when this is the real story (unless it gets Hollywood-ized). "Nobody knows the nitty-gritty of Colton's story," his defense attorney John Henry Browne claims, but the biggest news from all of this is that Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (of Milk, J. Edgar) will be writing the script with Harris-Moore. Damn.
For anyone that thinks this is just Hollywood pushing him into it, don't worry. "I am humbled to know I can now help the people I hurt, at least for the financial damage I caused them," Harris-Moore wrote. "I have absolutely zero interest in profiting from any of this and I won't make a dime off it… That's what I insisted on from the beginning and the contract I signed guarantees it." The Barefoot Bandit was caught in February 2007 and sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for stealing numerous things, including a plane that he even taught himself how to fly. "I can't undo what I did. I can only try to make things better," Colton said in a statement. I'd love to see some kind of Catch Me If You Can-like adventure movie based off of this.