Now Ilann Girard of Arsam Productions is producing the film, which will be a $35 million European co-production. The script follows two thieves in 1911 who convince an Italian cabinet maker to steal the Mona Lisa. The portrait was actually stolen that year, but the details differ a bit. On August 21, 1911 the painting was grabbed from the Louvre. While even Picasso was brought in for questioning, the real culprit was a Louvre employee. He stole it for Eduardo de Valfierno, so that copies could be made and sold as the real thing. The forgeries were made, the original was forgotten, and the employee, Vincenzo Peruggia, was caught when he tried to sell it a few years later.
While it might sound amusing to imagine Hoffman and Banderas as belle epoque thieves, praise has been following this script for years. Now if only it can move beyond the rumor and casting stage, we'd be able to see for ourselves.