Most criminals don’t get away with their crimes. That’s why we hear about them–they get caught. Then there are undoubtedly some who do, but we don’t know about them because they “got away it” so well. Sometimes, though, someone commits a crime, everyone knows about it, and that person still gets away with it. Rarest of all is the person who pulls off that feat and everyone thinks it’s, well, kind of cool. That was the D.B. Cooper case, and now Will Gluck is making a movie about it.
Deadline reports that Gluck will direct an adaptation of “Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper,” Geoffrey Gray. Keith Bunin is writing the script.
Don’t know the D.B. Cooper story? In short, on November 24, 1971, Cooper boarded a flight as an average passenger, then hijacked it. He demanded $200,000 and parachutes to escape, then jumped out of the plane over the Pacific Northwest. He’s never been found. Over time, he’s become something of a folk hero, a true American original (this opinion no doubt would be different if, you know, someone had been killed during the hijacking).
Here’s a summary of Gray’s book from a review on Amazon:
On November 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727, demanded $200,000 and parachutes, and jumped out over the Pacific Northwest. At a time when the country was beset by war, assassinations, riots, a faltering economy, and the Nixon presidency, Cooper was heralded as a Robin Hood of the sky. Enormous investigative resources were marshaled. Ballads were written. Cooper was never heard from again.
Forty years later, Geoffrey Gray dives chute-less into the swirling abyss of Cooper mania and lands with a true non-fiction novel, with characters too eccentric to be invented and a hurtling pace rarely found in the world of fact. The writing is stylish. The reporting is unstoppable. Gray is sympathetic and funny and saucer-eyed–even, at times, unhinged. He wants to solve the unsolvable, and remarkably, for a famous cold case, his spadework turns up fresh material.
As much as Skyjack is about D.B. Cooper, it is also a searing group portrait of those who even today find meaning in his mystery, a travelogue through a tumultuous era in American history, and a study of the paranoid style in American obsession. Most indelibly, it is an exploration of the mystery within the mystery, the puzzle of why these unfilled blank spots in our past have such a haunting grip on our imaginations.
A nonfiction novel? That’s interesting. It sounds like a good story, though I don’t know if Gluck would have been the first name that came to mind for this. I’d love to see what Charlie Kaufman would do with it, but there’s nothing wrong with Gluck. Needless to say, there’s no casting info or dates yet.