Hollywood has countless projects that fall into that unholy circle known as Development Hell, where no matter how hard everyone tries, the picture just can’t get in front of cameras. “The Man In The Rockefeller Suit” is one such film, and it has been puttering around for over a half-decade as directors like Scott Cooper, Walter Salles, and Pablo Trapero all came and went. Well, the movie now has a star, which will hopefully help in getting it into production.
Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up for the adaptation of Mark Seal‘s book, which tells the true story of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German con man who for decades passed himself off as Clark Rockefeller, a member of the famed and powerful family. David Bar Katz has written the screenplay. Here’s the book synopsis:
This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wealthy scion of a great American family, who kidnapped his own daughter and vanished. The police and FBI were baffled. Tips poured in, but every lead was a dead end … because “Clark Rockefeller” did not exist. In a gripping work of investigative journalism, Mark Seal reveals how German native Christian Gerhartsreiter came to the United States, where he stepped in and out of identities for decades, eventually posing as a Rockefeller for twelve years, married to a wealthy woman who had no idea who he really was. Fast-paced, hypnotic, and now updated with more stunning details, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit chillingly reveals the audacity and cunning of a shape-shifting con man.
It’s a terrific premise, which is probably why Fox Searchlight has continued to stick with the movie. The hunt is now on for a director, and let’s hope whoever signs up manages to stick. [Deadline]