According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Warren Zide has picked up the rights to the classic song in the hopes of turning it into an action-comedy franchise. That's right -- not just one film about Leroy Brown, but several. The project is currently out to writers.
The idea has been sanctioned by Croce's widow, Ingrid. "We've always wanted to do a movie with one of Jim's character songs. The concept is about a good guy who can do no wrong. We just want him and his memory and his music to live on. Most importantly, it sounds as if it's going to be a lot of fun. And Jim liked to have fun."
"I guess a classic song never fades away," Zide said. He was one of the producers for the American Pie and Final Destination movies, so if anyone knows how to franchise, it's him. His uncle tried to buy the rights 25 years ago, but failed, which led Zide to strike up a relationship with the Croce family. Well, the radio will never be the same again! Who knows what song might be picked up next? U2 or Bruce Springsteen seem ideal, but it's difficult to envision a sequel to The River. So I submit Depeche Mode's Never Let Me Down Again for consideration, as I envision a noir franchise.