Move Over, 'The People v. O.J. Simpson!' The Getty Family Is Getting the TV Treatment and It Sounds Insane
By John Boone
If this is anything like The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, it's going to be gooooood.
The hit FX anthology series is trading Hollywood glitz and glamour for Hurricane Katrina in season two, but the channel announced another infamous story will be coming to the small screen soon. The Getty family -- "one of the twentieth century's richest and most dysfunctional families" -- is getting the TV treatment in Trust.
The 10-episode limited series comes from a powerhouse duo -- it was written by Simon Beaufoy and will be directed by Danny Boyle, who previously teamed up on Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours -- and will focus on John Paul Getty III, heir to the Getty oil fortune, and his kidnapping in the '70s.
"The first installment takes place in 1973, when the young Getty is kidnapped in Rome and his mafia captors are banking on a multi-million dollar ransom. After all, what rich family wouldn’t pay for the return of a loved one? Trust charts the young man’s nightmare ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody seems to want their captive back. The Italian police think it’s a prank and decline to investigate. Paul’s father is lost in a heroin daze in London and refuses to answer the phone. Paul’s grandfather - possibly the richest man in the world - is marooned in a Tudor mansion in the English countryside surrounded by five mistresses and a pet lion. He’s busy. Only Paul’s mother is left to negotiate with increasingly desperate kidnappers. Problem is, she’s broke."
Spoiler alert -- well, as much as you can spoil real-life events -- the kidnappers cut off one of his ears and, after being freed, John Paul Getty III became addicted to drugs and was confined to a wheelchair until his death. We never said this was an uplifting story.
If the first season of Trust does well, ratings-wise, there is plenty more Getty family material to mine for future installments -- mistresses and mansions, secret lives and politics, drugs and death. Just last year, Andrew Getty was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home under peculiar circumstances.