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Scott Cooper Signs On To Direct Conman Tale 'The Man In The Rockefeller Suit'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 21, 2011 at 4:23AM

Yep, we're nigh on two years since Scott Cooper wowed critics and audiences with his tale of a rundown country singer in "Crazy Heart" and while he hasn't gone behind on the camera on a project since, he's determined to match people like Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese and Brad Pitt in terms of projects he's attached to. It was just over a week ago that Cooper was slotted as the replacement for Noah Baumbach on "The Emperor's Children" but what the hell, he's going to sign up for something else.
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Yep, we're nigh on two years since Scott Cooper wowed critics and audiences with his tale of a rundown country singer in "Crazy Heart" and while he hasn't gone behind on the camera on a project since, he's determined to match people like Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese and Brad Pitt in terms of projects he's attached to. It was just over a week ago that Cooper was slotted as the replacement for Noah Baumbach on "The Emperor's Children" but what the hell, he's going to sign up for something else.

Cooper has returned to his pals at Fox Searchlight, and Deadline reports he's inking a deal to direct and possibly adapt Mark Seal’s nonfiction book "The Man In The Rockefeller Suit." The tale is an intriguing one, telling the story of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German-born conman who for decades passed himself off as Clark Rockefeller, a member of the famed and powerful family, rising up the social ladder as a result. Here's a more complete synopsis from Amazon:

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

"The Emperor's Children" is still aiming to be Cooper's next movie, with a spring 2012 start date in the works, but should that date change, it's more likely that Cooper will also pen the 'Rockefeller' adaptation as well. But for now, you can toss it onto the list of projects he has sitting on his desk, which include the Black List-approvedThe Low Dweller,” a remake of the Argentinian thriller “Carancho” and the Comanche dramaEmpire Of The Summer.”

This article is related to: Films, Scott Cooper, The Man In The Rockefeller Suit