Ridley Scott to direct Getty kidnap drama, Natalie Portman may star
Deadline is reporting that Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, the upcoming Alien: Covenant) will direct the Getty kidnapping drama All the Money in the World for Sony Pictures as his next film. The film will follow the 1973 kidnapping of oil heir John Paul Getty III and his mother Gail Harris’ desperate attempt to get the boy’s grandfather, oilman John Paul Getty Sr (at the time the richest man in the world), to pay the ransom. Angelina Jolie already passed on the Harris role, so now Oscar winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Jackie) is in negotiations and said to be a near-lock to take the part. Though talks with Jack Nicholson to play Getty Sr seem to have fallen through, Scott is determined to nail down a big star for that part as well.
The grandson of the oil billionaire, Getty was snatched at age 16 with a $17 million ransom demanded. When the family didn’t reply fast enough to the ransom note, Getty’s captors forwarded an envelope that contained his ear, with a promise that more pieces would follow. Ultimately, the ransom was paid, Getty was found in southern Italy, and the kidnappers got away with the fortune. Getty III later became the father of actor Balthazar Getty (Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, When We Rise).
With a Black List screenplay by David Scarpa (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Last Castle), All the Money in the World is being produced and financed by Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, alongside Scott and Mark Huffam and Kevin Walsh of Scott Free, as well as Quentin Curtis and Chris Clark. Tom Rothman secured worldwide distribution for Sony. Production will begin on the biopic in Italy this May.
A decade ago in 2007, Universal Pictures and director Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Patriots Day) acquired screen rights to the John Pearson book “Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty,” with Robin Shushan writing the script.
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