FX's 'Trust' Gives The Getty Kidnapping Another Whirl, This Time With Donald Sutherland

Tori Preston | TV | January 9, 2018

Sometimes a single idea just seems to be out there in the shared ether, inspiring creativity and multiple works of art. Or maybe it’s mere coincidence that leads several creators to the same concept at the same time. Either way, we’ve seen it happen often. Dante’s Peak came out the same year as Volcano. Antz came out the same year as A Bug’s Life. Whether the movie is about mall cops or the President’s daughter or Truman Capote, if an idea is good enough — it’s good enough to do a few times over.

Apparently the same holds true with very specific, real-life kidnapping scenarios and the sad, rich people affected by them. Like, for instance, the abduction of J. Paul Getty’s grandson, and the oil tycoon’s refusal to pay the exorbitant ransom demanded by the kidnappers. That tale was already fodder for All The Money In The World, which gained notoriety late last year for being “the one where Kevin Spacey was replaced at the last minute with Christopher Plummer.” The film came out in time for Christmas — but don’t worry if you missed it, because literally the EXACT SAME STORY is being told on FX in March. Only this time it stars Donald Sutherland (unless he gets replaced at the 11th hour) as J. Paul Getty… and it actually looks like it might be entertaining!

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Before you ask — why yes, that IS Brendan Fraser underneath that glorious ten-gallon hat! He’ll be playing the Mark Wahlberg role, only with a hat on. Hilary Swank will be playing the part Michelle Williams portrayed in the film. And instead of Ridley Scott, the series is being masterminded by the trio responsible for Slumdog Millionaire: exec producers Danny Boyle (who also directs the first three episodes), Simon Beaufoy (who created and wrote it), and Christian Colson. The series will premiere March 25th on FX, but it’s envisioned as an anthology that could tackle different events in the life of the Getty family in future seasons. Here’s the official synopsis:

Trust delves into the trials and triumphs of one of America’s wealthiest and unhappiest families, the Gettys. Equal parts family history, dynastic saga and an examination of the corrosive power of money, Trust explores the complexities at the heart of every family, rich or poor.

Told over multiple seasons and spanning the twentieth century, the series begins in 1973 with the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Harris Dickinson), an heir to the Getty oil fortune, by the Italian mafia in Rome. His captors banked on a multi-million-dollar ransom. After all, what rich family wouldn’t pay for the return of a loved one?

Paul’s grandfather, J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland), an enigmatic oil tycoon and possibly the richest man in the world, is marooned in a Tudor mansion in the English countryside surrounded by a harem of mistresses and a pet lion. He’s busy. Paul’s father, J. Paul Getty Jr. (Michael Esper), is lost in a daze in London and refuses to answer the phone. Only Paul’s mother, Gail Getty (Hilary Swank), is left to negotiate with the increasingly desperate kidnappers. Unfortunately, she’s broke. Trust charts the teenage grandson’s nightmare ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody seems to want their captive back.

I’ll be honest: “lion in mansion” may be my new “kangaroo in garden.” Which is to say that I still have a The Young Pope-sized hole in my heart and I’m banking on Trust to help me deal with that lingering pain. What do you think? Does this story sound worthy of a movie AND a TV show?

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