Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired the fact-based drama Breaking The Bank as a directing vehicle for Gareth Evans, whose Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption electrified numerous festivals before being released recently by Sony Pictures Classics. The fact-based drama is based on the book Heist: The True Story Of The World’s Biggest Cash Robbery by Howard Sounes, and the Sports Illustrated article Breaking The Bank by L. Jon Wertheim. XYZ Films is producing with Evans. XYZ is the company that executive produced and handled worldwide sales for The Raid: Redemption, and the remake of the action movie that is in the works at Screen Gems.

Breaking The Bank is based on the life of former UFC fighter “Lightning” Lee Murray, a mixed martial arts street brawler who masterminded the largest cash heist in history in England in 2006. The most recent draft of the screenplay was written by Kerry Williamson. It had originally been developed with director Darren Aronofsky, who dropped out and is busy with Noah, the Noah’s Ark epic with Russell Crowe at Paramount and New Regency.

The project was the first that came from a 2008 deal with XYZ and Time Inc. Studios to pay to develop projects hatched from the publishers’ magazine stable. Time Inc. remains a rights holder on the project. Evans is repped by WME and Management 360.