Exploits of Camano fugitive may be Hollywood movie

CAMANO ISLAND — Are you ready for your close up, Colton Harris-Moore?

It appears the elusive serial burglar and fugitive from Camano Island may soon make his way to the silver screen.

A major Hollywood studio, Fox, has an agreement to purchase the movie rights to Harris-Moore’s story.

Bob Friel, an Orcas Island freelance journalist, confirmed he’s in talks with Fox to option a book that’s he writing on the ongoing saga of Harris-Moore’s exploits.

Harris-Moore has been on the lam from law enforcement since April 2008. Since then, he’s suspected of dozens of burglaries and stealing luxury cars, two boats and piloting four small planes despite no formal flight training.

Variety, the movie industry tabloid, reported the working title is “Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw.”

“Nothing is inked,” Friel said by phone Tuesday.

Even if the deal gets signed, its no guarantee that casting will begin anytime soon.

Movies can take years to develop and many movie proposals never get made into films, said Robert Horton, The Herald’s film critic.

“Movie deals are signed everyday in Hollywood,” Horton said. “There’s no guarantee that the thing would ever happen at all.”

In February, the hunt for Harris-Moore, 19, picked up on Orcas Island.

A plane was stolen from Anacortes landed in the mud at the Orcas Island airport.

Hours later, someone broke into a grocery store and drew several footprints on the store’s floor. It was an apparent reference to the “Barefoot Burglar,” the name some media have used to describe Harris-Moore. He’s believed to sometimes flee barefoot, although police say he most often wears shoes.

A manhunt was launched on March 18 when a homeowner on the island’s west side reported seeing Harris-Moore. Police didn’t find their suspect.

It’s not surprising Harris-Moore landed in the sites of Hollywood producers.

“It would be easy to interpret (the story) as a junior Robin Hood scenario,” Horton said.

Friel said he’s working with Rough House Productions and director David Gordon Green, perhaps best known for “Pineapple Express.”

Pam Kohler, Harris-Moore’s mother, has said that she was in talks with Friel but called them off when she grew suspicious of him. Kohler didn’t return calls Tuesday.

In October, Harris-Moore may have crashed a plane stolen in Idaho near Granite Falls. Days later someone fired a gun at Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies who were investigating a nearby burglary. Although many law enforcement sources believe Harris-Moore was responsible, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover has not named any suspects.

She said she has no plans to watch the movie if it does get made.

“This won’t make my Netflix queue. I guarantee you that,” Hover said.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437; jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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