Ben Affleck confirms the status of McDonald’s Monopoly Scam movie
After over a year since 20th Century Fox, now called 20th Century Studios, won the rights to Jeff Maysh’s article about the McDonald’s Monopoly Scam in an intense bidding war against other major studios, Oscar-winning writer-director Ben Affleck (Argo) has finally opened up about the project, revealing the current status of its’ development following Disney’s acquisition of Fox.
Speaking with Collider, Affleck has confirmed that he and Matt Damon are still developing and committed to the McScam film despite the major changes that happened within the studio’s management and brand. He also revealed that they’ve recently received a new script draft which was probably from Deadpool writing duo Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who were attached to pen the adaptation.
“We’ve gotten a new draft. That’s really good.” Affleck said. “Hollywood’s a weird place, because the person who was running the studio when they bought that script, just left that job. And the studio that was going to make it got bought by another studio.
So there’s these moments where things sort themselves out, and you sort of see ‘Is this still a priority, or are they really interested in different kinds of movies?’ And I’m not sure whether or not, McScam, what kind of priority it is. We really like it. We’re still developing the script.”
Based on Jeff Maysh’s The Daily Beast article titled “How An Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game And Stole Millions,” the true story centers on an ex-cop, Jerome Jacobson, in Rhode Island who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly Game and allegedly stole over $24 million. Jacobson apparently shared the stolen money with a group of co-conspirators who offered bribes to the ex-cop. Maysh’s article details how Jacobson fell under the FBI’s gaze after years of he and his network illegally rigging the game to steal millions. Using undercover agents, the FBI sent in a camera crew to Jacobson’s home to listen to his fraudulent story of how he supposedly legitimately won the game, recording every lie.
Jacobson, who acted as head of security for a Los Angeles company that was responsible for generating the game pieces, worked with an interesting group of co-conspirators that consisted of mobsters, a psychic, strip-club owners, drug traffickers, and even a Mormon family who helped steal $24 million in cash and prizes.
Starring Matt Damon, The McDonald’s Monopoly Game theft film adaptation will be directed by Ben Affleck from a script that will be written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool). Oscar-winning duo Affleck and Damon (Good Will Hunting) will also be serving as producers through their Pearl Street Films banner. David Klawans (Argo) is set to executive produce the feature. Matt Reilly will oversee the project for Fox while Madison Ainley steers it for Pearl Street.
The McScam film is not the only 20th Century Studios project that Affleck and Damon are currently working on together. The longtime creative duo are also set to star in Ridley Scott’s upcoming The Last Duel movie, which they’ve also co-written with Nicole Holofcener.
Among the names and studios who lined up to bid on the rights to the article include Universal for Kevin Hart, Warner Bros for John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Steve Carell, producer Andrew Lazar, Netflix, Eric Newman, Bryan Unkeless, Robert Downey Jr. & Susan Downey, and Todd Phillips, but they all ultimately lost to Affleck, Damon, and Fox.
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