Bill Anthony Jakob, the 36-year-old bank security guard facing a 23-count federal indictment for impersonating a law enforcement officer in a small Missouri town, has optioned his life rights to producer John Davis for a feature.
Davis, Dan Spilo and David Klawans have cut a deal with Jakob who, armed with a phony badge, convinced officials he was empowered by the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Dept. to spearhead an undercover crackdown on drug dealers in the town of Gerald, Mo. A reporter’s Internet search revealed Jakob wasn’t a cop at all.
The producers plan to use Jakob’s story as a basis for a comedy, and will set a writer before Davis brings the project to 20th Century Fox, where his Davis Entertainment has its first-look deal.
Spilo and Klawans courted Jakob and his defense attorney, Joel Schwartz, as they were besieged by national media and two dozen producers interested in the Walter Mitty-esque tale after Jakob was arrested earlier this month. While it’s hardly funny to officials in a town of 1,200 residents, the farcical fodder includes the fact that Jakob kept an office where a woman answered the phone with a cheery “Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force,” a term that came from “Beverly Hills Cop.”
“We’ll turn the tone to darkly comedic, but we don’t have to go away from reality to make this amazingly fun and absurd story,” Spilo said.
Davis said he sparked to the wish fulfillment aspect.
“What nondescript security guard doesn’t dream about putting on a badge, driving in and becoming the man who cleans up a troubled town?” Davis quipped.
Jakob’s defense attorney said his client didn’t fear the legal repercussions of making a film deal because he’s not denying the charges.
“He’s not saying he didn’t do it, and he has cooperated with authorities, and I’d be shocked if he saw the inside of a courtroom,” Schwartz said. “He’s not proclaiming to the world that he’s proud of what he did, but he did make some good arrests of some bad guys. He received no remuneration at all, and he worked 15 hours a day for about six months.”
Jakob faces the possibility of a prison sentence and fines if he’s found guilty.