The Favourite and The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos is headed to TV with The Man in the Rockefeller Suit. The series is based on the nonfiction book by Mark Seal, and tells the story of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a man who posed as a descendant of the famous Rockefeller family, along with several other aliases. The plan was originally to turn the story into a feature, but it’s now being developed by Fox Searchlight Television.
Deadline reports that filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is set to bring the True Crime story The Man in the Rockefeller Suit to TV. The limited series will tell the tale of con artist Christian Gerhartsreiter aka Clark Rockefeller, who was chronicled in Mark Seal’s book The Man In The Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor. Here’s the book’s 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.
David Gilbert wrote the adaptation. At one point, Fox Searchlight was developing this as a feature film with Benedict Cumberbatch as a possible star. Now, it’ll head to TV instead, although it hasn’t been specified where it will air or stream.
I’ll admit that up until recently, I was not the biggest Lanthimos fan. While I recognized his talents, I found his films to be too cruel to stomach. That changed with The Favourite, which was one of my favorite films of last year. While The Favourite had a mean streak to it, it wasn’t as gleefully nasty as films like The Lobster or The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Having Lanthimos tackle this true story is rife with possibilities.
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