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“Painfully Rich” to be Adapted

John Pearson’s "Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune
and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty" will be adapted for the
screen by Robin Shushan, with Peter Berg (The Kingdom) set to direct.

The 1995 nonfiction book has a broader scope than the film,
which will focus on the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, the oil billionaire’s

The 16-year-old was abducted in July of 1973; his Calabrian
kidnappers demanded $17 million in ransom. When October rolled around and the Getty patriarch still hadn’t coughed
up the cash, the kidnappers sliced off the teen’s ear. That didn’t sway Grandpa either, so the
kidnappers reduced the ransom to a more palatable $3.2 million, which Getty
reluctantly paid.  The boy was finally released in December.

 Diana B. Henriques’ "New York Times" review called the Getty
fortune "a dynasty founded on the seven deadly sins" (I see evidence
mostly of greed and lust), and faulted the book for its "purple prose and
unconvincing pop psychology."

Pearson has also written biographies of the literary Sitwell family,
Winston Churchill, Edward VII and, um, James Bond.

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