Mr Robot's Rami Malek to star in Papillon remake

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Actor will reprise Dustin Hoffman role in Devil’s Island prison-escape drama, opposite Charlie Hunnam

Mr Robot's Rami Malek to star in Papillon remake
Dustin Hoffman in the 1973 hit Papillon. Photograph: Moviestore collection/Alamy

Mr Robot star Rami Malek is hacking into a remake of the 1973 Steve McQueen thriller Papillon, according to Deadline.

Mr Robot's Rami Malek to star in Papillon remake
Rami Malek. Photograph: Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Malek, currently starring in the second season of the Amazon Prime series about a renegade computer whizz, will play the role originated by Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman’s character, Louis Dega, is a veteran criminal who teams up with Henri Charrière (McQueen) to escape the infamous Devil’s Island jail in French Guiana. Charrière will be played by Charlie Hunnam in the remake.

The 1973 film was based on the memoirs of Charrière, who was nicknamed “Papillon” (French for “butterfly”) because of the tattoo on his chest. Convicted of the murder of a pimp in 1931 (a crime he denied committing), he was sent to Devil’s Island, and escaped in 1941 by using a bag of coconuts as a raft.

Charrière’s book, also called Papillon, was a bestseller in 1970. It was said by the author to be “75% true”, although it is thought today that many of the stories in the book were supplied by other inmates, rather than Charrière himself.

The 1973 film was at $12m an expensive prospect that doubled its money at the box office. Directed by Franklin J Schaffner, it was co-scripted by the once-blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

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