EXCLUSIVE: The engines appear to be revving up on Netflix’s The Helicopter Heist, a drama based on the book by Swedish author Jonas Bonnier about a daring 2009 robbery in Stockholm. I’ve learned that Peaky Blinders creator and prolific Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight is penning the film. Deadline previously broke the news of Netflix boarding the project in 2016 with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce with his Nine Stories partner Riva Marker.
Published last year, the book is inspired by the true story of four young Swedes who pulled off one of the most spectacular heists of all time. The men behind the daylight robbery were imprisoned, but the $6.5M they stole never recovered.
At first, the plan seems foolproof. But not everyone is who they seem. Even as the gang’s stolen Bell 206 Jet Ranger is lifting off from the G4S cash depot’s roof, questions remain unanswered. What secrets does each man hold? Who is the woman who has implicated herself in all of their lives? And who among them holds the key to the wealth they so desperately seek?
Police were unable to use their own copters to close in because the thieves placed decoy bombs all around. It was the first robbery involving a helicopter to be perpetrated in Sweden; seven eventually were caught and sentenced.
There’s no word on a timeline for the moment, but with Knight aboard, the propellers should speed up.
The busy Knight has the fifth season of Peaky Blinders shooting, with an expected 2019 airdate on BBC One and Netflix. He is also prepping an adaptation of A Christmas Carol for the BBC and wrote and is exec producing Apple’s upcoming world-building drama See starring Aquaman’s Jason Momoa
Feature-wise, he’s got Rio in development with Studiocanal, SunnyMarch and Nine Stories, with Gyllenhaal and Benedict Cumberbatch attached to star and produce. Further, he’s written The Red Circle, a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s classic 1970 cat-and-mouse thriller, for Arthur Sarkissian Prods and Graham King’s GK Films with Studiocanal fully financing development.
Knight’s latest directing effort, Serentiy, starring Matthew McConnaughey and Anne Hathaway, will be released domestically by Aviron on January 25.
He’s repped by United Agents and CAA.