In an uncanny piece of casting, John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, Sundance hit The Surrogate) has signed on to Switch, an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel from writer-director Dan Schechter (Supporting Characters).
Switch takes place 15 years before the events of Leonard’s Rum Punch, which was adapted by Quentin Tarantino into Jackie Brown, starring Robert De Niro as career criminal Louis Gara – the same character Hawkes will be playing in Switch. So take a look at Hawkes there to the right – he could be De Niro’s younger brother, no?
In another inspired casting choice, Yasiin Bey – who until recently went by Mos Def – will costar with Hawkes as young version of Ordell Robbie, who was played in Jackie Brown by Samuel L. Jackson.
In the story, Louis and Ordell team up to snatch the wife of a shady real estate developer in Detroit, only to have the husband stiff the hoods on his wife’s ransom.
In a classic Hollywood story, writer-director Schechter apparently adapted Leonard’s novel without clearing the rights first, and then sent the completed screenplay to Leonard and his producing partner Michael Siegel.