Benedict Cumberbatch Set to Star in The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

Posted 2017/04/12 2396 0

Benedict Cumberbatch may have found his next role: playing the namesake of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit.


Deadline reports Cumberbatch has joined the film about German con artist Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who spent decades claiming to be Clark Rockefeller of the famously wealthy and powerful family. Mark Seal's book will be the source material on this one, adapted by David Bar Katz. Most recently it was Pablo Trapero directing, however he has dropped out just like Walter Salles and Scott Cooper before him. Here’s the book synopsis:

This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wealthy 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 wealthy 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.

It's the true story of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a man for whom "truth" did not come naturally. After moving from Germany to the States in his late teens, he pulled off a variety of scams using aliases, living as an actor, director, art collector, an English aristocrat and even a ship's captain.

In 1995, having assumed the identity Clark Rockefeller, and trading off the name to secure various business opportunities, he crucially lived off the income of Sandra Boss, a successful businesswoman he persuaded to marry him. They had a daughter together, but when Boss began to discover "Clark" wasn't quite who he claimed to be, Gerhartsreiter tried to kidnap the child. He was arrested for that, and was then convicted of the 1985 murder of a man in California.

If done right, the film could prove to be another possible awards-worthy turn for Cumberbatch, given that the right director is recruited. In the meantime, Cumberbatch has plenty of other films arriving soon, including Avengers: Infinity War (with Cumberbatch reprising as Stephen Strange) and The Current War; a film that stars Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and costars such names as Michael Shannon, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston and Nicholas Hoult. To say that Cumberbatch has turned himself into one of the most prolific stars of his generation would be an understatement, and the actor isn’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon, either.