Brad Pitt’s going to prison. Variety reports that he’ll produce and perhaps star in ”The Madman of Alcatraz,” a revisionist look at Robert Stroud, the bird-raising convict whose story was made famous in the 1963 film ”The Birdman of Alcatraz.” This movie will present a darker interpretation of Stroud, focusing on his relationship with his prison psychiatrist.
Burt Lancaster was nominated for an Oscar for playing Stroud as a gentle person with a fondness for his feathered friends. But according to research by Vanity Fair magazine writer Ned Zeman, who’s writing the screenplay, Stroud was less a murderer mellowed by nurturing pets than a sociopath who used his bird-raising activities to deceive others into thinking he had reformed. Zeman learned that the shrink spent nearly two years on the prison island with Stroud and nearly lost his own mind in the process. It’s not clear whether Pitt would play the doctor or the patient, or when the film might wing its way into production.