FX’s new series aims to tackle more layers to the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.
An awards season contender this year has a television counterpart hot on its heels that actually looks rather different. Ridley Scott made a thriller that ended up being All The Money in the World. But it appears that Danny Boyle‘s Trust will at least be tonally unique in its handling of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.
Rival biopics aren’t uncommon in the slightest, but it’s always fascinating when a topic is handled vastly differently. All The Money in the World banks on the stress factor of the kidnapping without peeking around closed doors to discover what’s underneath in the way that Trust does. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy emphasized the focus on characterization — discovering what makes a man like J. Paul Getty forego paying his grandson’s ransom.
“They try to fill the big, huge hole in each of their souls with money or sex or drugs. There is passed down this lack of empathy — this complete lack of understanding of human emotion.”
Trust is planned as an anthology series, and this first season centering on the Getty kidnapping will run for ten episodes. That ensures a good amount of time to get to the heart of these characters that Beaufoy and Boyle are hoping to achieve, especially in its portrayal of “the billionaire who was seen by the world as a craven miser,” who is by far one of the most intriguing aspects of the kidnapping ordeal. This is true in the art itself, as All The Money in the World made waves when Scott decided to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty at the last minute. Despite the sudden switch, Plummer was still nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, and not without reason. Donald Sutherland, who plays the elder Getty in Trust, has something to live up to.
Trust premieres on FX on March 25. Watch the trailer below.
Here is the show’s official synopsis: “Inspired by actual events, Trust delves into the trials and triumphs of one of America’s wealthiest and unhappiest families, the Gettys. Equal parts family history, dynastic saga and an examination of the corrosive power of money, Trust explores the complexities at the heart of every family, rich or poor.
Told over multiple seasons and spanning the twentieth century, the series begins in 1973 with the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Harris Dickinson), an heir to the Getty oil fortune, by the Italian mafia in Rome. His captors banked on a multi-million-dollar ransom. After all, what rich family wouldn’t pay for the return of a loved one? Paul’s grandfather, J. Paul Getty Sr. (Donald Sutherland), an enigmatic oil tycoon and possibly the richest man in the world, is marooned in a Tudor mansion in the English countryside surrounded by a harem of mistresses and a pet lion. He’s busy. Paul’s father, J. Paul Getty Jr. (Michael Esper), is lost in a daze in London and refuses to answer the phone. Only Paul’s mother, Gail Getty (Hilary Swank), is left to negotiate with the increasingly desperate kidnappers. Unfortunately, she’s broke. Trust charts the teenage grandson’s nightmare ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody seems to want their captive back.”