5:30 PM EDT, May 29, 2013
David Bar Katz has come on board to adapt "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit" for Fox Searchlight with Donald De Line producing and Walter Salles directing.
Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German-born conman who posed as a member of the Rockefeller family, was recently convicted of a 1985 murder in the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino.
Project is based on Mark Seal's 2011 book about Gerhartsreiter, an imposter who used multiple identities after moving to the U.S. as a teenager. He claimed to be a USC film student and lived for several years in San Marino before fleeing to the East Coast, where he assumed the Rockefeller name. He married a business consultant who eventually realized her husband had lied to her and sought a divorce. After their estrangement, Gerhartsreiter kidnapped their daughter in 2008 and was arrested; he was also charged in 2011 with the 1985 murder.
A Los Angeles state court jury found him guilty on April 10 of the murder of John Sohus, the 27-year-old son of his former landlady. Gerhartsreiter buried the remains in the backyard of Sohus' mother's home.
Gerhartsreiter chose to not testify in his own defense and could face up to 26 years to life in prison. He was previously serving a five-year sentence in Massachusetts after being convicted in 2009 of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter.
Bar Katz's screen credits include "The Pest" and"The Man Who Couldn't Forget." As a playwright, he co-wrote and directed "Freak" and wrote "The History of Invulnerability," "Philip Roth in Khartoum," "Burning Burning Burning Burning," "The Atmosphere of Memory," "Oh, the Power" and "Ask/Tell."
Variety reported on Jan. 31 that Salles, whose credits include "Central Station" and "The Motorcycle Diaries," was in talks to direct "Rockefeller Suit."
Warner-based De Line set up "Rockefeller Suit" at Fox Searchlight last year. He's a producer with Michael Bay and Ian Bryce on bodybuilder drama "Pain and Gain" for Paramount and produced "Green Lantern" and "Yogi Bear" for Warners.
Bar Katz is repped by Paradigm.
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