John Hawkes (Winter's Bone, Contagion) has found his next role. Variety reports that The Surrogate actor has signed on to star opposite Yasiin Bey in the Elmore Leonard adaptation Switch, from writer-director Dan Schechter (Supporting Characters). Switch is a prequel to Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Hawkes and Bey play younger versions of the Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson's characters Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie from Leonard's novel Rum Punch.
The story is set 15 years before the events in Jackie Brown, and "follows career criminals Ordell and Louis as they team up to kidnap Mickey Dawson, the wife of a corrupt Detroit real estate developer. When the husband refuses to pay the ransom for his wife's return, the ex-cons are forced to reconceive their plan, and the angry housewife uses the duo to get her revenge." Filming is scheduled for May, which is being produced by The Gotham Group's Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman, along with Michael Siegel (Be Cool).
Schechter wrote the script on spec, without permission from Cohen. He sent the script to Cohen and Spiegel, who gave him approval and even signed on to produce. Hawkes is such a wonderful character actor, and I enjoy him in just about any role. Hopefully one of his upcoming roles will garner him an Oscar.
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