Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
Over the past couple of years, Scott Cooper‘s name has popped up in association with a number of projects, including The Hatfields and the McCoys, Lie Down in Darkness, Gangster Squad, Unbroken, and most recently, The Emperor’s Children. But in fact, he hasn’t helmed another movie since his acclaimed 2009 directorial debut Crazy Heart. Now the latest picture to come his way is The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, an adaptation of Mark Seal‘s nonfiction book about a con man who spent decades passing himself off as part of the Rockefeller family. More details after the jump.
Seal’s tome follows the tale of German-born Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who arrived in the U.S. as a teenager in the late ’70s and began assuming various identities. He eventually settled on that of Clark Rockefeller, “reluctant scion of the family with the country’s most famous name,” and capitalized on the false persona to climb the ranks of upper-crust East Coast society — living in luxury, landing prestigious Wall Street jobs, and even maintaining a 12-year marriage with businesswoman Sandra Boss, who was unaware of his true identity. His long-term con fell apart in the ’00s, when Boss divorced him and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter. In March 2011, Gerhartsreiter was charged with the 1985 murder of a California man named Jonathan Sohus. Seal’s book was published this summer.
According to Deadline, Cooper is now working on a deal to direct and possibly adapt the true-life story, which is set up at Fox Searchlight and will be produced by Donald De Line (Green Lantern). Whether he’ll write depends on how casting works out for the Claire Messud adaptation The Emperor’s Children, which is eyeing a spring 2012 start and will be his next film. Cooper’s been fairly inactive these past couple of years, but assuming both The Man in the Rockefeller Suit and The Emperor’s Children pan out, it sounds like he’ll be much busier in the future.