Things didn’t work out so well the first time Jeremy Renner tried to rob a bank, in Ben Affleck’s 2010 critically acclaimed “The Town”, but hey, at least he got an Oscar nomination out of it. Now he’ll take another crack at it and just may pull if off this time, as Deadline reports the busiest actor in Hollywood is attached to star in “King of Heists”, a 19th century thriller that’s based on one of the most famous and successful bank robberies in US history. Renner will also act as a producer on the project.
Renner will play George Leslie, an architect turned criminal mastermind who took the New York scene by storm in 1878 when he and his crew pulled off a successful robbery of more than $3 million from Manhattan Savings Institution. Masquerading with his teenage wife as a high society couple, Leslie spent months studying makes and models of every bank vault in the United States, and invented a device he called the “Little Joker” which could record bank vault combinations when placed inside the lock. For a ten year period between 1874-1884, it’s believed Leslie and his crew were responsible for over 80% (over 100 robberies carried out) of all bank robberies in the US.
After receiving back to back Oscar nominations, for Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and then Affleck’s “The Town”, Renner really is the most wanted man in Hollywood – in the best way possible. After the upcoming “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, which is intended as a passing of the torch for the franchise from Tom Cruise to Renner, he also completed work on fairy tale reinvention “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter” opposite Gemma Arterton (releasing March 2012) and originated the role of Hawkeye in Joss Whedon’s all-star superhero team-up “The Avengers” (releasing May 2012). He is now starting work on his third franchise, headlining Tony Gilroy’s spy spinoff “The Bourne Legacy.”