The Seventies are big on TV now with HBO’s Vinyl and Netflix’s upcoming The Get Down and now the Me Decade is coming to FX via Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson with Trust. The cabler announced today that it has ordered a 10-episode first installment of the limited series about John Paul Getty III, the heir to the great American fortune.
Starting in 1973, the first installment will detail the kidnapping of then 16-year old Getty and his family’s initial refusal to pay the requested $17 million ransom. “Dear Mummy,” a letter from Getty to his parents said, “Since Monday I have fallen into the hands of kidnappers. Don’t let me be killed.” His grandfather J. Paul Getty refused to pay, even after the kidnappers sent one of the ears of the younger Getty that they had cut off.
After a number of months, the ransom went to down to around $3 million and the elder Getty, once considered the richest man in the world from his oil holdings, paid a tax deductible $2.2 million with the younger Getty’s father John Paul Getty II paying the remaining $800,000 to release the teen. John Paul Getty III died in 2011 at the age of 54. A drug related stroke in 1981 caused him to be partially blind and paralyzed for the rest of his life. Brothers & Sisters alum Balthazar Getty, who will appear in the upcoming Twin Peaks revival, is his son.
“Simon, Danny and Christian have done a magnificent job of telling the story of the Getty family empire and its tumultuous history with Trust,” said Eric Schrier co-President of Original Programming for FX today in a statement. “Simon’s script wonderfully dramatizes the notorious and bizarre kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson. It’s the perfect way to open this limited series, allowing us to see how three generations, including one of the world’s richest men, clash when family, fortune and reputation are in jeopardy.”
Developed under the first look deal between FX Productions and the director and writer of the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire, Trust will be EP’d by Boyle Beaufoy, Colson. Written by Beaufoy and helmed by Boyle, the limited series will be produced by FX Productions, Cloud Eight Films, Decibel Films and Snicket Films Limited.
This is actually the second order Boyle, Beaufoy and Colson have had from FX. Back in October 2013, the cabler ordered the 10-part miniseries Telemark from the Slumdog gang. Written by Beaufoy, the project was based on the true story of the British-trained Norwegian resistance fighters who sabotaged Hitler’s nuclear development program during World War II. It would have been Boyle, Beaufoy and Colson’s first project for U.S. TV. No word on what its status is now.