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John Krasinski’s Fugitive Billionaire Pic ‘King of Oil’ Attaches Peter Landesman as Director

L-R: Peter Landesman and John Krasinski (Courtesy of AP)

A John Krasinski-produced movie about a fugitive billionaire has found its director in Peter Landesman.

Sources tell Variety that the “Concussion” writer-helmer is on board to direct the long-gestating movie, which is based on Daniel Ammann’s biography “The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich.” The film tells the story of the international commodities trader and founder of Glencore, who was indicted in the U.S. on 65 criminal counts that included tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering and striking deals for oil with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis.

Rich had already fled the U.S. for Switzerland and never returned, but famously received a pardon in 2001 from then President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. Rich lived in Switzerland until his death at age 78 in 2013. Matt Damon has been attached to play Rich, though his involvement is not currently known. The film was under Universal, but is currently in turnaround.

Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse are writing the screenplay, while producers on the pic include Krasinski, Uri Singer (“White Noise,” “Underworld”), Vincent Sieber (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair”) and Allyson Seeger (“A Quiet Place II”).

Singer first optioned the Ammann biography, and then brought Krasinski’s production company Sunday Night on board.

Landesman’s recent writing credits include “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” (2017) and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (2017). He is also attached to write and direct the film “The Council,” about an African-American crime syndicate in Harlem during the 1970s and 1980s. The latter project has “King Richard” Oscar winner Will Smith — who was recently handed a 10-year ban from the Oscars for slapping presenter Chris Rock — down to star as drug trafficker Nicky Barnes.

The pair previously collaborated on “Concussion,” which centers on a forensic pathologist who rallied against the NFL to recognize the deadly effects of head trauma.

Landesman’s debut movie, “Parkland” (2013), about the chaos that followed the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, premiered at the Venice Film Festival as well as TIFF.

Variety's Manori Ravindran contributed to this post.


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