EXCLUSIVE: Four years after Sheldon Turner was nominated for an Oscar for adapting with Jason Reitman the Walter Kirn novel Up In The Air, Turner is teaming with Kirn for another book adaptation, this time on TV. Sony Pictures TV has put in development Blood Will Out, a limited series based on Kirn’s autobiographical book Blood Will Out: The True Story Of A Murder, A Mystery, And A Masquerade. Kirn and Turner will write together the adaptation, which Turner and Jennifer Klein will produce through their Sony TV-based company Vendetta Prods. The producers plan to attach talent to the project before pitching it to networks.
Blood Will Out chronicles the 10-year friendship between Kirn and German con artist Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who went by the name Clark Rockefeller. Gerhartsreiter came to the U.S. in 1979 as a foreign exchange student. He went on to become a fixture in Boston high society for more than a decade after he claimed to be Clark Rockefeller, an heir to the famous dynasty. The deception was described as “the longest con in FBI history” and Gerhartsreiter’s true identity was only discovered after he kidnapped his daughter in a bitter custody battle. In 2009, Gerhartsreiter was sentenced to four to five years in prison. (Lifetime did a movie about the case starring Will McCormack as Gerhartsreiter/Rockefeller.) Kirn shared the story of how he had been duped for a decade by Gerhartsreiter, whom he met in 1998, with Turner and Klein while the trio were on the awards circuit for Up In The Air. Kirn wrote a piece for the New Yorker about the experience and later penned a book about it, Blood Will Out, which was published in March. Turner and Klein already had been interested, having read the book proposal, which Kirn wrote while attending Gerhartsreiter’s trial, and stepped in to acquire the tome with Sony TV’s backing. CAA reps everyone involved.