THR are reporting that Jeremy Renner, two-time Academy Award nominee, has pitched a film called Slingshot, a real-life story about a DIY racecar driver, Bill Caswell, and Paramount have picked it up.
Renner will both star and produce, and he will be joined by his producing partner, Don Handfield, under their new production company, The Combine, which they announced back in April this year.
The story has all the great elements you want from this kind of film. It’s about an unemployed racing fan who buys a 1991 BMW 318i off Craigslist, fixes it all up himself, and then starts racing down in Mexico, beating cars worth about a thousand times the price he paid for his.
As an unemployed driver, Caswell didn’t even have a team with him when he was racing down in Mexico. Everything he did, he did himself, stopping at every service station along the way to fix whatever needed fixing. Sam Smith, a friend of Caswell’s, has written a great article of his friend’s entry into racecar driving, which you can read here. Smith writes,
“The story of Caswell’s WRC entry is a story of weirdness: He entered the biggest motorsport event of his life with no crew; an untested, week-old E30 M3 engine swap and a junkyard transmission (don’t ask); a car that was still covered in dirt from the previous season’s rallies (“I’d wash it, but I gotta fix stuff instead”); and a rented panel van. His co-driver, a Rally America genius named Ben Slocum, had not spent more than five minutes in a car with him prior to the event. He did this not out of stupidity, but out of a lack of resources — he wanted to go rallying, and this was the only way he could make it happen.”
Caswell truly sounds like the kind of man who knows what he wants and goes for it, and Renner sounds like a brilliant casting for the role. Renner’s become a very much sought-after actor in Hollywood of late, taking the lead in Kathryn’s Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and the supporting role in Ben Affleck’s The Town, both of which he got his Oscar nominations for. He’s finished work on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and is filming The Avengers over the summer as Hawkeye, which is going to be immense. Once that’s done, he’s then set to star as the new lead in The Bourne Legacy, taking over from Matt Damon.
Clearly, his schedule’s a bit of a busy one, so work on Slingshot may have to wait, especially since he also announced back in April that The Combine would be producing a biopic of Steve McQueen, with Renner taking the lead in that too. Whilst it may be a while before Slingshot goes into production, Renner is a brilliant actor in everything that he does, so it’s sure to be well worth the wait.