Variety is reporting that Chris Pine a.k.a the new Captain Kirk, and director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) are in talks for the fact-based financial drama, The Art of Making Money. Paramount has put plans in place to fast-track the production for an early 2010 start having one of the leading men-of-the-moment and a successful action/thriller director attached will certainly boost the movie.
Paramount acquired The Art of Making Money based on a Rolling Stone article from 2005 by Jason Kersten, who himself turned it into a book called The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter, published last summer. The script is written by Frank Baldwin, and the film will be produced by Brian Robbins, Sharla Sumpter and Brad Weston. If the two officially sign onto the project, Caruso will, of course, direct and Pine will play, "Art Williams, the alias for a Chicago man who rose from petty theft to become a master counterfeiter." Here's the synopsis for the source book, courtesy of Amazon (the following could be considered slightly SPOILERIFIC):
"A young smalltime crook with a meticulous eye for artistic detail and an addiction to the thrill of crime crafts millions in high-quality phony bills in Kersten's account of counterfeiter Art Williams Jr. Born in 1972 and abandoned by his father to poverty, the gritty gangs of Chicago and a mentally ill mother, Williams slid into an underworld of theft and violence before a bohemian money crafter introduced him to counterfeiting. With swagger, ingenuity and a devoted wife, Williams produced millions of dollars worth of uncannily accurate bills for 14 years, till the Secret Service caught up with him."
Apart from his big breakout role in this summer's hugely entertaining Star Trek, Pine is beginning to become one of the young go-to guys for male leads in all sorts of films: He's starring alongside Denzel Washington in the "runaway train" thriller, Unstoppable; he recently starred in the horror-thriller, Carriers; and most recently (just today, actually) it was reported he was in talks to take up the Jack Ryan reigns in the return of the Tom Clancy franchise, after Ben Affleck portrayed the character last in 2002's The Sum of All Fears. That's certainly good going for an actor (Pine) whose resume only goes back to 2003.
Caruso most recently directed Transformers star, Shia LaBeouf, in the Rear Window rip-off Disturbia and the enjoyable Eagle Eye. He hasn't got the most impressive directing resume out there (Taking Lives anyone?), and his usual movie genre is thrillers, so I don't know if he'd be the first person I'd call to direct a true story-based "money drama" (his betting thriller/drama, Two for the Money, let me down). But Pine has impressed me with pretty much everything he's done so far, and the real life story and subsequent plot sounds interesting to me (kind of similar to the fantastic Catch Me If You Can), so I'm willing to give The Art of Making Money a shot.
What do you think of Pine possibly starring in this true-to-life money drama? What about Caruso being the one to potentially direct it? Do you like the sound of the project?
As stated, The Art of Making Money is being fast-tracked for a production start of early 2010, but it has no release date set as of yet.