Pembroke – A movie based on the true crime exploits of a bank robber who called the Valley home and flew out of the Pembroke airport to his life of crime is in the works for next year.
Ottawa Valley Publisher Tim Gordon announced Monday The Flying Bandit, published by Burnstown Publishing House and written by Robert Knuckle with Ed Arnold, will be released as a major movie within the next year starring Mel Gibson, Elisha Cuthbert and Josh Duhamel. According to a release by Variety, the movie will be called Bandit.
The movie is based on the story of Canada’s most daring armed robber Gilbert Galvan Jr. or “Robert Whiteman” as he was known to his Canadian family and friends. Mr. Galvan escaped from prison in the US and made his way to Canada where he assumed his new identity, fell in love, married, and portrayed himself as a travelling security consultant. However, unbeknownst to his wife, he was leading a double life. When he left on those so called “business trips” he was flying across Canada and successfully pulling off over 60 bank robberies and jewelry heists. Dubbed “The Flying Bandit”, he became known as Canada’s most daring armed robber who never fired a shot.
He had come to Canada in the 1980s when he escaped from a Michigan prison. He settled in Pembroke where he would fly in and out of the city, robbing banks and returning home that night. He was arrested at the Pembroke Airport, eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison before being transferred to a prison in the United States.
Mr. Duhamel will play Mr. Galvan Jr. and Mr. Gibson is a lifetime gangster he becomes involved with.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader