The Favourite and The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos is headed to TV with The Man in the Rockefeller Suit. The series is based on the nonfiction book by Mark Seal, and tells the story of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a man who posed as a descendant of the famous Rockefeller family, along with several other aliases. The plan was originally to turn the story into a feature, but it’s now being developed by Fox Searchlight Television.
Deadline reports that filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is set to bring the True Crime story The Man in the Rockefeller Suit to TV. The limited series will tell the tale of con artist Christian Gerhartsreiter aka Clark Rockefeller, who was chronicled in Mark Seal’s book The Man In The Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wehy scion of a great American family, who kidnapped his own daughter and vanished. The police and FBI were baffled. Tips poured in, but every lead was a dead end … because “Clark Rockefeller” did not exist. In a gripping work of investigative journalism, Mark Seal reveals how German native Christian Gerhartsreiter came to the United States, where he stepped in and out of identities for decades, eventually posing as a Rockefeller for twelve years, married to a wehy woman who had no idea who he really was. Fast-paced, hypnotic, and now updated with more stunning details, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit chillingly reveals the audacity and cunning of a shape-shifting con man.
David Gilbert wrote the adaptation. At one point, Fox Searchlight was developing this as a feature film with Benedict Cumberbatch as a possible star. Now, it’ll head to TV instead, hough it hasn’t been specified where it will air or stream.
I’ll admit that up until recently, I was not the biggest Lanthimos fan. While I recognized his talents, I found his films to be too cruel to stomach. That changed with The Favourite, which was one of my favorite films of last year. While The Favourite had a mean streak to it, it wasn’t as gleefully nasty as films like The Lobster or The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Having Lanthimos tackle this true story is rife with possibilities.
What could be better than Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning playing warring royals during the Golden Age of Russia in a wickedly decadent and dark comedy? These two highbrow favorites display a kinetic chemistry in the first trailer for “The Great,” a new Hulu series which charts the rise of Russia’s longest-running woman monarch Catherine the Great. While the benevolent leader’s later years were recently dramatized by HBO with Helen Mirren, this batty new series focuses on the monarch’s youth and rise to power.
The official synopsis reads: “‘The Great’ is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great Fanning from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Season One is a fictionalized, fun and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter Hoult. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside. A very modern story about the past which encompasses the many roles she played over her lifetime as lover, teacher, ruler, friend, and fighter.”
In addition to Fanning and Hoult, “The Great” also stars Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Sebastian de Souza, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.
If the tone of demonic revelry and ludicrous self-aggrandizement rings a bell, that’s because “The Great” was created, written and executive produced by Oscar-nominated writer Tony McNamara. McNamara penned the screenplay for Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar-nominated 2018 film “The Favourite,” which incidentally also featured a similarly foppish performance by Hoult.
While “The Great” does not promise as much Sapphic intrigue as “The Favourite,” the acerbic script, scrumptious design, and first-rate performances appear to put it in league with McNamara’s previous work. Seeing Hoult and Fanning duke it out in these first snippets, aided by the fast-paced editing and stirring score, promises a lively first season of the Hulu Original.
“The Great” premieres May 15 on Hulu. Check out this delectable treat of a teaser below:
Action icon Sylvester Stallone is responsible for two of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, that of boxer Rocky and the one-man army that is Rambo. During this time of self-isolation, Stallone has been entertaining fans by taking to social media to answer questions about his silver screen legacy. The first question he answered dealt with the fact that he believes his 1976 sports drama Rocky to be his best work, but the actor/writer/producer/director then goes on to say that he's most proud of the sixth Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa, because it was the hardest one to make happen.
'I'd have to say my best movie probably of course is Rocky. The one I'm most proud of is Rocky Balboa. Because no one wanted to make it. I sat around for six years trying to make that film and when it came out, I was so proud of it, because of what we had to go through to get it done.'
This is something which will no doubt surprise fans of Sylvester Stallone and his franchise, as the first Rocky movie is pretty much universally agreed to be the greatest. The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars and went on to win three, including Best Picture.
It is likely that the reason Stallone is most proud of it is because it had something of a Rocky arc of its own, with no one being interested in making it, doubting its success and doubting whether Stallone would be able to pull it off due to his age. Stallone, however, clearly believed in the project and continued to push to make it happen, finally winning the battle and presumably screaming 'Adrian!' until his voice was hoarse and his throat sore. That sounds a lot like Stallone is proud of getting the movie made, rather than the actual content. Regardless Rocky Balboa remains an excellent bookend to the story of the rags-to-riches boxing story, with that character once again finding himself the underdog, despite his success, and rising to the challenge.
Most of the movies in the Rocky franchise were popular with fans. Each movie becomes more and more ridiculously over-the-top, with Rocky fighting gigantic Russians and even his own protégé in the street. Rocky Balboa brought the story back down to Earth, becoming more of a character study once again, much like the first Rocky. In fact, skipping the movies in the middle and simply watching the first and last Rocky movies would make an excellent one-two punch.
The Rocky franchise has been the most popular of Sylvester Stallone's movies, so it's no surprise that the series holds a special place in Stallone's heart. Rocky Balboa was supposed to be the end for the character, but several years later Rocky made another comeback in the Creed spinoff movies starring Michael B. Jordan. It's unclear at this point if we will see a Creed III, but Sylvester Stallone has said that he is done playing Rocky. This comes to us courtesy of Sylvester Stallone's Instagram account.