The 1973 kidnapping of oil heir John Paul Getty III by the mafia was one of the stranger episodes of a very strange decade. Now Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is bringing that story to FX with Trust as part of a larger tale of the Getty family and their many bizarre exploits. The 10-episode first installment of Boyle’s limited-run series is set to air on FX starting in 2018, with production scheduled to kick off in June in London and Rome. The task of filling out the cast is underway with one big-name actor already being added in a key role.

FX has announced that legendary actor Donald Sutherland will star in Trust as J. Paul Getty, the founder of the Getty dynasty and the grandfather of kidnap victim John Paul Getty III. While his grandson is being snatched and tortured by the mafia — at one point they cut off John Paul Getty III’s ear and mail it to his family — the obscenely rich eldest Getty is holed up in his English Tudor mansion with his five mistresses and pet lion, too distracted to deal with the horrific events befalling his grandson.

Getty III’s kidnappers believe that his wealthy and famous family will readily fork over millions in ransom money, but with his grandfather busy and his father out of his mind on heroin, and the Italian police convinced the whole thing is a joke, the only one left to negotiate with the mob for Getty III’s release is his financially challenged mother. What ensues is a desperate, bizarre stand-off that sounds like it could have been concocted by Trainspotting director Boyle out of his own twisted imagination, but in fact it all really happened. Boyle will executive produce the 10-episode first installment of the series alongside writer Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson, and will also direct.

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Sutherland is an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor who has become familiar to a whole new generation of moviegoers for his performance as President Snow in the Hunger Games movies. In the era when the real Getty family was in the news thanks to JPG III’s kidnapping, Sutherland was building a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most versatile and exciting actors through a string of legendary films including M*A*S*H, Klute, Don’t Look Now and the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

With the Getty family story providing plenty of opportunity for juicy performances, Boyle should have little difficulty filling out the cast of Trust with more major-league actors of Sutherland’s caliber. It will be interesting watching that cast being assembled as the start of shooting nears.

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Source: FX Networks