Ever mindful of keeping his options open, Tony Scott has added to his stable of post-Taking of the Pelham One Two Three projects with an untitled biopic on the life of Don Aronow, a construction millionaire whose passion for speedboat racing spawned the obnoxious Cigarette Boat – which became the go-to go-fast boat for South American drug runners in the 1980s. Soon after receiving a $20 million contract from the United States government to build comparable craft for Customs agents, Aronow was executed in a hail of bullets somewhere along "Thunderboat Row" in Miami.
As the story of a man who lived and died via the creation of breakneck speed, this film could be an interesting counterpoint to Scott’s wretchedly (and, yet, watchably) excessive Top Gun (and Days of Thunder, but let’s stick with movies that actually work on their own terms). Or it could never get made. From everything I’ve ever heard about the man, Scott’s as likely to hop back aboard a seemingly dead project like Lucky Strike as he is to make a right-now sure thing like this Aronow flick. Anything could happen between now and the completion of his The Taking of Pelham One Two Three remake starring Denzel Washington; Scott could announce a sequel to The Fan called The Rainiest Game Ever Played, and I wouldn’t bat an eye. I’d also be there opening day.
Newsweek columnist Michael A.M. Lerner is writing the screenplay. Should the film eventually happen, it’ll be made through Fox 2000.