EXCLUSIVE: Curtis Hanson is in talks to direct and Clark Gregg will write a film based on the true story of a mystery man who showed up to a small Missouri town and led a crackdown that cleaned up a scourge of meth labs — only to be exposed as a bank security guard with a Walter Mitty complex and a phony badge. Fox Searchlight has signed on to the film that will be produced by John Davis, Dan Spilo and David Klawans.
The drama is based on Bill Anthony Jakob, a 36-year-old bank security guard who was indicted on a 23-count federal indictment for impersonating a law enforcement officer in a small Missouri town. He optioned his life rights to the producers in 2008, when his escapades became a national media story. Armed with a phony badge, Jakob convinced officials in a town of 1200 residents that he could use the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Dept. to crack down on the drug dealers. It worked well until a reporter writing about the hero uncovered the truth with a simple Internet search. The original intent was to turn the premise into a comedy. But it wasn’t funny for the real law enforcement officers because the fakery tainted all of the arrests which Jakob made.