Sir Ridley Scott is to direct upcoming kidnapping film 'All The Money In The World'.
According to Deadline, the 79-year-old director is "finalising" plans to steer the cast and crew on a drama about the 1970s kidnapping case of oil firm heir John Paul Getty III - the grandson of ultra-rich tycoon J. Paul Getty.
John Paul was just 16 when he was grabbed during a night out in the Piazza Farnese in Rome, Italy, on 10 July 1973 and then kept chained in a cave for six months with a ransom note demanding $17 million delivered to the family.
Initially his grandfather believed that his grandson may have staged the kidnap himself and refused to pay anything, also fearing if he paid up then all of his other grandchildren would be targets.
He also ignored the pleas of his own son, John Paul Getty, Jr, to free him and of John Paul's mother Gail Harris as she had divorced his son and had refused his money to raise her family alone, however, when one of his ears was sent through the post to a newspaper along with a lock of his hair the tycoon eventually paid $2.9 million to free him.
Nine of the kidnappers were eventually arrested and two were sent to prison.
But John Paul - whose son is actor Balthazar Getty - never fully recovered from the harrowing ordeal becoming an alcoholic and drug addict. He eventually died at the age of 54 following a long battle with ill health which began when he took a cocktail of Valium, methadone and alcohol in 1981 which caused liver failure and induced a stroke which left him a quadriplegic and nearly blind.
Angelina Jolie has been approached to play Gail Harris but a clash with her other work commitments means that Natalie Portman is now in the frame.
Scott is also searching for a "big star" to play J. Paul Getty, with sources saying he has met with Hollywood icon Jack Nicholson to discuss the part.
'All The Money In The World' is apparently going to be Scott's next project with his planned adaptation of Don Winslow's book 'The Cartel' pushed back.
His 'Prometheus' sequel and 'Alien' prequel 'Alien: Covenant' hits cinemas in May.