EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch is in early negotiations with Fox Searchlight to star in The Man in the Rockefeller Suit for Fox Searchlight Pictures. David Bar Katz has adapted the book by Mark Seal. Donald De Line is producing.

The film tells the true story of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, an imposter who conned his way into various jobs on Wall Street — as well as a marriage — posing as a member of the Rockefeller family. After achieving a life in rarefied social circles, his past finally catches up with him and he fears losing custody of his only daughter.

The film is a strong priority for Searchlight.  It will secure a director and move toward a production start. Pablo Trapero had once been attached, but that didn’t work out. Cumberbatch, who next plays Thomas Edison in the Weinstein Company’s The Current War, is repped by UTA and Conway van Gelder Grant.