EXCLUSIVE: The Favourite and The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos is set to direct and executive produce an adaptation of The Man In The Rockefeller Suit based on Mark Seal’s New York Times bestselling non-fiction book, which is being developed as a limited series at Searchlight Television. Donald De Line and Element Pictures will exec produce with Lanthimos.
Written by David Gilbert, based on the book The Man In The Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor, the limited series adaptation tells the true story of Clark Rockefeller, a gregarious, successful, and mysterious descendant of the Rockefeller clan. When his wife Sandra begins to suspect that Clark isn’t who he says he is, his decades-long web of deception slowly begins to unravel.
This reunites Fox Searchlight and Lanthimos following their collaboration on The Favourite, which earlier this year was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture and director for Lanthimos, winning best lead actress for Olivia Colman.
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit adaptation, produced by De Line , was initially in development at Fox Searchlight as a feature written by David Bar Katz, with Benedict Cumberbatch at one point loosely attached to play the lead and Pablo Trapero before that attached to direct.
In TV, the case was the subject of the 2010 Lifetime movie Who Is Clark Rockefeller?, in which Rockefeller was played by Eric McCormack. Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter is 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, until his past finally caught up with him.
Fox Searchlight Pictures launched Searchlight Television in 2018. This past spring, the studio landed its first series order at Hulu for The Dropout, a limited series starring and executive produced by Kate McKinnon based on ABC News/ABC Radio’s podcast about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos. The division also has projects in development at FX and Apple.
Gilbert is repped by The Gotham Group and Bill Clegg at The Clegg Agency.