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American Animals, the True Story of a College-Based Book Heist Premieres at Sundance

Librarian hostages, a first edition of The Origin of Species and the New York auction world...

Books and archival prints, a librarian held hostage, and an attempt to sell the stolen goods in the New York auction world. The theatrical plot of the very real Transylvania University book heist in 2004 has premiered in film form at Sundance and is now headed towards local theaters. 

 

heist

Gif via Hyperallergic

 

American Animals follows four college-aged men who hatch a plan to steal a first edition of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species along with sketches by John James Audubon from their university library. Along with these two notable thefts, they also stole an illuminated manuscript from 1425 and a set of two 15th century horticulture books called Hortus Sanitatis. The heist in total amassed almost $800,000 worth of stolen goods. 

 

Image Via IMP Awards

Image Via IMP Awards

 

The movie, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, stars Evan Peters (American Horror Story, X-Men series) and Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer). 

 

American Animals is set to hit theaters June 1st, 2018. 

 

Featured Image Via Variety