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Ridley Scott to helm Getty Kidnap Drama with Natalie Portman circling to star

Ridley Scott is finalizing plans to direct “All the Money in the World” and wants Natalie Portman to star, reports Deadline.

The David Scarpa-scripted Black List drama centres on the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his mother Gail Harris to get the boy’s grandfather to pay the ransom. While that grandfather, oilman John Paul Getty Sr, was reputed to be the richest man in the world, he initially refused to pay.

The Harris role is a fairly sought-after one. Angelina Jolie met about it last week but won’t do it due to scheduling conflicts. Now Scott wants to hire Portman for the role.

Imperative Entertainment is producing and financing, and Sony Pictures is on board to distribute worldwide. Production will kick off in Italy in May.

More on the story via Deadilne:

All the Money in the World tells a harrowing Italian-set drama, a parable about how wealth can be a curse. Paul Getty was the grandson of J. Paul Getty, a magnate who didn’t think much of his own pampered, underachieving son. The grandson seemed likely to follow in those dubious footsteps. Raised in boarding schools, the teen frequented nightclubs, led a bohemian life and attended left-wing demonstrations. One night in 1973, he didn’t return home, and soon a ransom calling for $17 million was sent to the family. The initial suspicion was that the rebellious teen might have staged his own kidnapping, but it soon became clear that this was legitimate, might well have been perpetrated by mob-tied culprits and that the teen was in grave danger: The kidnappers sent a lock of hair, and the teen’s severed right ear, in an envelope.

Harris had a complicated relationship with her ex-father-in-law. When she told the elder Getty she was divorcing his son, she refused his offer for millions of dollars and raised her children on her own. So when she came back to Getty for ransom money, he turned a cold shoulder. Some of his reasons were understandable: He believed that if he paid a ransom for one, he was placing a bounty on all 14 of his grandchildren. But he also was tight-fisted. Eventually, she and the boy’s father reportedly were able to convince him to pay $2.2 million (the highest amount that could be claimed as a tax deduction); Getty lent his son another $700,000 — to be repaid with interest — and the $2.9 million eventually freed the boy.

Getty, who was chained to a stake in a cave in Italy throughout this six-month ordeal, never recovered. He lived a tragic life that included a drug overdose that left him with a stroke and kidney failure, and quadriplegic. He died at 54 in 2011.

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