What do you get when you cross Citizen Kane with Ruthless People? Something that sounds like the greatest movie ever, right? Well, we'll see if that's really what we get when Peter Berg makes a movie about the kidnapping of teenage heir J. Paul Getty III. According to Variety, the actor/director is developing a project based on John Pearson's book "Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty" (with that title, it sounds like another Bette Midler movie is thrown into the mix, too). For those who don't know the story, 16 year old Getty III was abducted in Rome and the kidnappers demanded $17 million. But his miserly grandfather -- the founder of Getty Oil -- initially refused to pay up. At first everyone thought the kid was pulling a prank. Eventually the poor teen's ear was mailed to the family. Finally, gramps paid, though he only did so with the assurance he'd be paid back by Getty II (his son) ... with interest. As for Getty III, well he became totally screwed up, turned to drugs and his life was ruined forever. Thanks grandpa!

The trade doesn't mention whether or not Berg, whose new film, The Kingdom, is now in theaters, will direct the pic; he's currently shooting the washed-up superhero movie Hancock, starring Will Smith, and then he's linked to a few other projects, including the true Navy SEAL story Lone Survivorr, the racehorse drama Gone Like the Wind, the Cheung fo remake The Mission and the fantasy Bran Mak Morn. He will definitely be involved in producing the Getty film, through his company Film 44, along with Working Title's Chris Clark (Catch a Fire). The adaptation of Pearson's book is being written by Robin Shushman, an apparent newbie (no IMDb listing) who is also currently writing the script for The Contortionist's Handbook. Hopefully she will make the thing twisted enough, and possibly add in some relevance to how good today's spoiled heirs have it.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical