The story, written by David Scarpa, centers on the 1973 kidnap in Italy of J. Paul Getty III — the rebellious teenage grandson of oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the $17 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
Natalie Portman is being eyed to play the part of Gail Harris, the mother of John Paul Getty III. Angelina Jolie was offered the role recently but was unable to take the part due to scheduling issues.
The kidnappers sent a lock of hair and the teen’s severed right ear to the family to convince them pay the ransom. Harris and the boy’s father eventually convinced the elder Gerry pay a $2.9 million ransom, resulting in the teenager being freed after six months. He had been chained to a stake in a cave in Italy.
The film is being produced and financed by Imperative Entertainment. Producers are Imperative’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas; Ridley Scott, Mark Huffam and Kevin Walsh through Scott Free; Quentin Curtis and Chris Clark. David Beaubaire is overseeing for Sony.
Scott is in post-production on his sixth “Alien” film — “Alien: Covenant,” which Fox will open May 19. Producers plan to begin shooting the Getty film in May in Italy.
Scarpa’s script was named to the Black List.
Imperative is also developing “Killers of the Flower Moon,” adapted by Eric Roth; “Tangerine,” with Scarlett Johansson and Smokehouse attached; World War II drama “Atlantic Wall” with Bradley Cooper starring, and “The Shitheads,” starring Tracy Morgan and Luke Wilson. The news about Scott was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.