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20th Century Fox buys rights to Colton Harris-Moore story

20th Century Fox has announced plans to make a movie about Colton Harris-Moore, based on Orcas writer Bob Friel's book proposal.

Variety reports the film about the notorious burglar is called "Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw."

Friel told the Sounder it's not official.

"Nice if it gets that way, though, even though that still means there’s only about a 10 percent chance of it actually becoming a movie," he said. "The important thing for me is a book, because a movie may not be able to go into all the issues and angles I’m investigating that help explain what got this kid to the point of haunting our island and using up all our Sheriff’s department’s time and money – the CPS system, state’s versus parental rights, school system policies, the juvenile justice system, etc. No child starts life as a criminal, and there’s a real important story here about how and why kids like Colt first fall and then jump through the cracks, all to the detriment of society. A lot of attention has been on the adventure part of the story, the flying, the chases – and it’s perfectly natural for people to be attracted to those elements – but there are a lot of serious issues behind all that, a lot of tragedy and human drama."

Friel says he knows there are some locals who will not be thrilled that Harris-Moore is getting more attention.

"But this was an internationally covered story before I published one word about it," he said. "It was inevitable that there’d be a book and a movie about it because all the elements are there. And I’m happy that I’m in this position because it will also be a great opportunity to write about how great life is here in the San Juans, despite this moment in our history."

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