A remake of the classic prison break movie Papillon is currently in the works. Based on the story of Henri “Papillon” Charriere, the original 1973 film starred Steve McQueen as the title character, a safecracker who was unjustly convicted of murder in France during the 1930s and sentenced to spend life in a notorious South American penal colony. En route to the colony, Papillon becomes acquainted with quirky fellow inmate Louis Dega, originally played by Dustin Hoffman, who had been convicted of counterfeiting. The two men strike a deal in which Dega agrees to finance Papillon’s escape from prison in exchange for protection in prison. The collaboration results in a lasting friendship.
The name Papillon, the French word for butterfly, refers to a tattoo on the protagonist’s chest.
This new adaptation of Charriere’s memoir was written by Aaron Guzikowski, who is best known for writing the popular 2013 Hugh Jackman crime thriller Prisoners.
The picture is being directed by Danish filmmaker Michael Noer, who also directed another prison flick, the award-winning R; the gritty gang feature Northwest; and the documentary Son of God.
Producing the film are Red Granite’s Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, both of whom worked on The Wolf of Wall Street, along with other high profile producers Ram Bergman (Don Jon) and Roger Corbi, whose most recent project was the TV series Detective McLean: Ties That Bind.
No news has been forthcoming yet on casting.
Timing for this project seems good. The upcoming documentary, Steve McQueen: The Man and LeMans, and a big screen biopic currently in the works will likely stimulate renewed interest in McQueen’s work.