There is a new movie coming out called “Life of Crime” starring Tim Robbins and Jennifer Aniston, where Aniston plays a kidnap victim who was kidnapped and held for ransom. Unfortunately for the kidnappers, the husband was planning on filing for divorce before the kidnapping and might not be willing to pay the money. While the story sounds interesting in and of itself, there is more to this than meets the eye. The characters in the movie have appeared in another movie in the past.
“Life of Crime” is based on the Elmore Leonard novel “The Switch.” Like many of Leonard’s fans know, there are characters that move around his novels, placing them in one giant world. In “Life of Crime,” the characters that movie fans might recognize are Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara.
Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara originally appeared in the Quentin Tarantino movie, “Jackie Brown,” based on the Leonard novel “Rum Punch.” In the Tarantino movie, Robbie was played by Samuel L. Jackson and Gara was played by Robert De Niro. Of course, they didn’t survive that movie, but this new movie takes place in the past, as Mos Def and John Hawkes play younger versions of the characters, and the kidnappers in the new movie. Also playing a big role in “Jackie Brown” is Michael Keaton as ATF agent Ray Nicolette.
“Out of Sight”
Steven Soderbergh directed the Leonard adaptation “Out of Sight” in 1998. In the movie, a criminal (George Clooney) breaks out of prison and takes U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) hostage. After he makes his getaway, Sisco heads out to track him down, all while a fantastic forbidden romance sparks up between them. Despite being made by a different studio, Michael Keaton showed up in the movie as ATF agent Ray Nicolette. Miramax tried to fight this, but soon an agreement was worked out and he ended up in both movies as the same character.
While Elmore Leonard has a lot of movies made into movies, the one film where he really started to impress movie audiences with his crime stories was “Get Shorty.” Based on the novel of the same name, this film really enjoyed the resurgence of John Travolta’s role in, ironically, Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” Playing a very similar character, Travolta starred as Chili Palmer, a loan shark who decides to head to California to sell his life stories to Hollywood. A number of the characters popped up again in “Be Cool,” a movie where Travolta was reunited with his “Pulp Fiction” co-star Uman Thurman.