The strange, sordid tale of Christian Gerhartsreiter (pictured above) is a ready-made movie. Actually, if you count Lifetime MOW fare directed by the cinematographer of THE ABYSS, it's already been made! But a story this mindblowingly bizarre can stand to be told twice. And so it shall. By above-average filmmaker Walter Salles.
According to Variety, Salles is set to step in for CRAZY HEART director Scott Cooper on Fox Searchlight's THE MAN IN THE ROCKEFELLER SUIT. The film will be based on Mark Seale's 2011 book, which sorts through the dense thicket of lies Gerhartsreiter deployed in order to ingratiate himself with some of the wealthiest families in America. Claiming he was a Rockefeller heir, Gerhartsreiter eventually married a wealthy business consultant named Sandra Boss, and essentially lived off of her income while keeping up the illusion that he was born into money. The story gets more bizarre from there, and is still unfolding: Gerhartsreiter is currently awaiting trial for the 1985 murder of Jonathan Sohus in Los Angeles.
There's a great movie in here, but I'll wait until Searchlight names a screenwriter to get excited. True, Salles (ON THE ROAD, CENTRAL STATION, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) is a capable enough filmmaker, but his involvement alone has never been cause to get worked up over a movie. While we wait for more news on this project, let's all revisit Anthony Minghella's masterful THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY.