John Travolta Plays a Persona of Don Aronow in New Film Called "Speed Kills"
Speed Kills Update: June 12, 2018
John Travolta's biopic on Don Aronow, or "Ben Aronoff" in the film, is set to release August 16, 2018. The film is directed by Jodi Scurfield, not John Luessenhop as previously reported, although Luessenhop is one of the writers along with David Aaron Cohen. The story is based on the book "Speed Kills" by Arthur J. Harris. Produced by Hannibal Classics and Saban Films.
Character references in the film include George H. W. Bush as the Vice President and other real life associations. But, judging by what I have read and seen so far, it would be assumed that there is no way the filmmakers could have used the real names of those committing crimes in the film without permission or conviction; if you're wondering why John Travolta's characters name is Ben Aronoff. I have to say, I am excited to see it, the camera work looks amazing and I think it could be fun.
Speed Kills Trailer: 2018, John Travolta
A semi-biographical film about Don Aronow, the King of Thunderboat Row, starring John Travolta. Travolta here behind the wheel on set.
Speed Kills Update: January 7, 2018
Because of the huge interest in this film, we will be giving updates whenever we learn more. As of now, we have learned that the film will most likely be screened at the Berlin Film Festival February 15 - 25. Look for the North American release in April or May.
The John Luessenhop directed film, starring John Travolta and Kellan Lutz will also be shot to have a VR experience version. It seems confusing but from what we understand, there will be the standard film, then there will be an 8 part VR experience series. This will be one of the longest film based VR experiences like it at an hour long. Jennifer Esposito and Matthew Modine will also star in the VR series. Matthew Modine has re-emerged as an actor with his character in the popular Netflix series Stranger Things.
The film will include an extensive VR series released in 8 different parts. (Courtesy of Top Dog VR)
It seems like the VR experience will have alternate scenes or scenes totally separate from the film, including some sneak peak footage a drug deal going down on the water, there are several boat scenes in the film which no doubt Wave to Wave readers will be interested in. John Travolta trained with John Tomlinson in Miami prior to shooting in Puerto Rico and Miami.
Another update includes the title being "Speed Kills" not the previously announced "Cigarette." The story itself will be loosely based, and I think it would be fair to say extremely loosely, as it only seems to take the essence of Don Aronow's story, with major liberties taken, constituting in the name change to Ben Aronoff. Plus, anytime you're including people in re-enacted drug dealing scenes or associating there name with anything like that, you would have to be extremely careful not to insinuate anything nefarious. That will be an interesting part of the films execution.
Maybe, if there's enough interest, we can get an interview with John Travolta and the director John Luessenhop.
September 13, 2017
This is an update on a film being shot right now that was at one time called “Speed Kills” and now I believe has been retitled “Cigarette." I don’t think it is that unusual to rename film projects but I will try to get more information as this exciting projects becomes finalized. From what I gather from various tabloids like Caribbean360 and The Daily Mail, Travolta’s character is called Ben Aronoff, not Don Aronow. This will be a fictional biopic if you haven’t picked up on that already. If I had to guess, if you make fictional names then you are probably less liable for misinformation or defamation. Just a guess.
Some of the things that are notable are that the film is being filmed mostly in Puerto Rico and it looks like they may have some period correct boats, hopefully I can find out more about the boats they are using. The picture above is a 36 Pantera made to look like a Cigarette. I believe Travolta spent some time at TNT Custom Marine in Miami and was working with John Tomlinson on driving for the film. John Tomlinson has worked on other movies, including Miami Vice.
Cigarette will be directed by John Luessenhop (Texas Chainsaw, Taken) and starring: John Travolta, Matthew Modine, James Remar, Kellan Lutz, Katheryn Winnick and Jennifer Esposito.
Saban Films bought the rights to the film and there is no release date yet. Expect to see it this winter. I’ll try and keep this updated. Should be a “fun” movie.
Travolta is a talented actor and looks like he is no stranger to getting behind the wheel.