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FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN
BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Momentum Pictures will release the action, crime, comedy film FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on March 15, 2019.
FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN features Travis Fimmel (“Vikings,” Warcraft: The Beginning, The Experiment), Rachael Taylor (Transformers, “Jessica Jones”, Shutter,) William Fichtner (“Mom,” Black Hawk Down, Crash, Armageddon) and Forest Whitaker (Black Panther, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Last King of Scotland). The film is directed by Mark Steven Johnson who previously wrote and directed Ghost Rider, Daredevil and Grumpy Old Men.
When an unlikely gang of thieves attempt to steal $30 million in illegal campaign contributions from President Richard Nixon’s secret fund, the plan quickly goes sideways, prompting the biggest manhunt in FBI history.
by Mark Steven Johnson
The story of the United California Bank Robbery is one of the greatest stories never told. Back in 1972, the leader of a small group of safecrackers from Youngstown, Ohio got a tip from Jimmy Hoffa: President Nixon was hiding up to $30 million in dirty campaign funds in a bank in Laguna Niguel. Propelled by their hatred for Nixon, the gang travelled to California to rip off the President of The United States.
It was during this time that Watergate was brewing, putting their audacious heist right in the eye of the storm. The fact that these small town crooks were so far in over their heads brings a lot of natural comedy to the story. They actually got caught because they forgot to run the dishwasher (a new invention at the time) in their stakeout house, leaving fingerprints on the dirty dishes for the FBI to discover. You can’t make this stuff up… The story of the United California Bank Robbery is a truly incredible one — but it was Harry’s story that made me want to make this film.
Harry Barber idolized Steve McQueen. He even used his name as an alias while working the heist. But with the FBI hot on their tail, Harry was forced to go on the lam and assume yet another identity, “John Baker.” He hid out in a small town in Pennsylvania where he fell in love (with the sheriff’s daughter no less) and stayed for seven years before his past finally caught up to him. Most heist films are about the robbery itself. The drama comes from waiting to see if they’ll get away with it or not. In our film the heist is already over when the movies begins. Seven years have gone by. The drama isn’t whether or not Harry will get away with it — it’s what happens when his past catches up to him.
“Finding Steve McQueen” is an unbelievable true story about one of the most daring bank jobs of all time. But at its heart it’s a story about identity. Who we are versus who we want to be — and what happens when those worlds collide. The story is an interesting combination of drama, romance and broad comedy — the kind that started my career when I wrote “Grumpy Old Men.” It’s one of those fascinating footnotes in American History that deserves to be told. And with a crooked president in the White House and a scandal looming…it’s a story that has never been more relevant.
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