EXCLUSIVE: Highwayman, the drama that once had Paul Newman and Robert Redford poised to play the veteran Texas Rangers who put an end to the violent robbery spree of Bonnie & Clyde, might finally find its way into production. Sources said Netflix is in early discussions to team Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner as the lawmen who hunted down Depression Era outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, with John Lee Hancock directing. To do this, Netflix is negotiating to extricate the project from Universal Pictures, where it was originally set four years ago. There is a John Fusco script rewritten by Hancock, the filmmaker who directed the fact-based Michael Keaton-starrer The Founder, Saving Mr. Banks and The Blind Side. Casey Silver, who has patiently shepherded the picture for years, is the producer.
Costner would play legendary lawman Frank Hamer and Harrelson would play Manny Gault. They were out of the Rangers by the time Bonnie & Clyde started their robbery reign, but were commissioned as special investigators, coaxed by a consortium of banks to assemble a posse and end the robbery spree of the notorious gang reputed to have killed 13 cops and others. The details are different than the version depicted in the 1967 Arthur Penn-directed Bonnie and Clyde, which starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (the stars reunited at the last Oscars for the film’s 50th anniversary, which didn’t end well after an accountant passed them the wrong Best Picture envelope). Highwaymen takes the vantage point of the formidable posse headed by Hamer, an old style Texas Ranger who’d survived 100 gunfights and killed 53 people. CAA reps Hancock and Harrelson, WME reps Costner. Hancock is lawyered by Del Shaw Moonves.