Roger Donaldson finds Baker Street

A crime thriller that tells the real-life tale of an unusual 1971 bank robbery is finally kicking into gear now that it’s found a director.

Baker Street has been in development for a few years now, and at least one other helmer (Harold Becker) has been attached. But it looks like The Recruit’s Roger Donaldson will be the man to bring it to the screen, while Jason Statham will play one of the criminals.

The case is unusual because it featured not only one of the biggest heists in British history, but mixed in MI5 and a government restriction sealing the story so that nothing could be written about it for 35 years. The reason? Also stolen from the vaults were compromising pictures of royalty and top politicians, which the bank robbers - who had originally been set up by the security services - used to blackmail their would-be captors and ended up getting clean away.

The script, with the current draft written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, will follow the swirling scandals and the lives lost as the truth was kept under wraps. Donaldson will start shooting early next year, hopefully with some location work on Baker Street itself, which would be right round the corner from our office…