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BBC acquires Danny Boyle's Getti drama Trust


Story by Jack Foley

TRUST, the star-studded new drama from executive producers Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson, has been acquired by BBC2.

The drama is based on the notorious true-life kidnapping of the heir to billionaire John Paul Getty – one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen.

It boasts a genuinely star-studded line-up headed by Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games, Don’t Look Now) as J. Paul Getty Senior, the oil tycoon and art collector at the head of the Getty family.

He will be joined by Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats), Anna Chancellor (Ordeal By Innocence), Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders), Amanda Drew (Broadchurch) and Sophie Winkleman (Peep Show).

The 10-part series will premiere in the UK exclusively on BBC Two this September.

Trust opens in 1973 with the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Dickinson), heir to the Getty fortune, in Rome. His captors bank on a multi-million dollar ransom. After all, what rich family wouldn’t pay for the safe return of a loved one?

However, back in England Paul’s wealthy grandfather (Sutherland) an enigmatic oil tycoon, surrounded by a harem of mistresses and a pet lion, refuses to pay up.

With Paul’s father (Michael Esper) lost in a drug-induced daze in London, refusing to answer the phone, it is left to Paul’s mother – the penniless Gail Getty (Swank) – to negotiate with both the increasingly desperate kidnappers and her stubborn former father-in-law to save her son.

Trust charts the teenage grandson’s nightmare ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody seems to want their captive back.

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 examines the corrosive power of money and explores the complexities at the heart of every family, rich or poor.

Commenting on what appealed to him about the project, Boyle told the BBC: “It was an investigation of something we are now much more familiar with, which is a dynastic and beyond-imagination-rich family. It’s almost like a blueprint for the way that money works in many ways in life now.

“And by money, I don’t mean the money that you and I use in our daily lives. I mean money as an elemental force that’s so powerful that it has its own morality and behavioural code.”