Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Mythology Entertainment and Anyway Entertainment have secured screen rights to an upcoming book that details an unbelievable and ultimately disastrous 2003 bank robbery. Known by the FBI as Collarbomb, Major Case #203,” the incident began when Erie, Pa. pizza delivery man Brian Douglas Wells entered a bank and told the teller he’d been shackled with an explosive device around his neck and forced to pull off a heist.

The bomb went off as Wells exited, surrounded by cops, and it killed him instantly. While investigating the crime after his grisly death, the FBI ultimately discovered that Wells was not an innocent victim but a co-conspirator unaware that a real bomb would be involved for the actual heist. The alleged mastermind of the intricate plot was Marjorie Diehl Armstrong who is currently serving life in prison plus thirty years.

The film will be based on Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery, a book by former FBI Special Agent Gerald Clark and journo Ed Palattella that will be published by Penguin/Berkley in November. The film will be produced by Clark Peterson, Bradley Fischer, James Vanderbilt, Ron Senkowski and Edward McGurn; the executive producers are Steve Hanson and Laeta Kalogridis; and Trey Borzillieri is co-producer.

Clark was involved in investigating and cracking the case. The plot line bore similarities to the Ruben Fleischer-directed 30 Minutes Or Less, a comedy which didn’t benefit from the association to an actual tragedy. The producers are calling their film Collar Bomb Heist at this point, and they have secured life rights to a number of the participants involved in the case. They include Palattella and Clark, as well as U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan who prosecuted the case. They also optioned rights to journalist Rich Schapiro’s Wired magazine article, The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist.

Upstart company Mythology is currently producing the Roland Emmerich-directed White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, which Sony releases June 28, 2013.