After a hiatus of eight years, Derek Cianfrance is finally ready to direct a new film, declares Jeff Sneider in his insneider newsletter. Titled Roofman, it’s based on the true but quirky story of Jeffrey Manchester, an oddball serial robber who broke into more than 60 McDonald’s outlets around the country. The brazen franchise-filcher carried out his operations by drilling his way through the roofs of the fast-food outlets after they’d closed for the night, then herding early-shift workers into the freezer at gunpoint before emptying the cash registers.
Convicted and jailed in 2000, Manchester escaped prison and then evaded capture by hiding out for six months in a Toys ‘r Us and Circuit City store in Charlotte, North Carolina. He survived by eating baby food and riding bicycles for exercise in the toy store. After leaving his fingerprints on a Catch Me If You Can DVD in the electronics store, he was recaptured and sent back to jail.
Cianfrance has only released three films since 2012: Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Light Between Oceans. Back in March of 2022, he told The Daily Gazette that he had already begun writing the script for Roofman. Sneider said later that the writer/director was hoping to cast Ryan Gosling in the role of Jeffrey Manchester, but the actor was unable to do so because of scheduling conflicts. The two had worked together before, with Gosling starring in Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. It’s now being speculated that either Channing Tatum or Chris Pine may play the lead in Roofman.
In addition to his work on the big screen, the 50-year-old Cianfrance is also known as the creator of the HBO series I Know This Much Is True. He was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Darius and Abraham Marder’s Sound of Metal.
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