Donald Sutherland to play billionaire J. Paul Getty for Danny Boyle in FX’s ‘Trust’

Twenty-two years ago Donald Sutherland won an Emmy for playing a real-life Russian detective in pursuit of a serial killer in “Citizen X.” Next year, he could well collect a bookend with the news that he has been cast as billionaire J. Paul Getty in the FX limited series “Trust.” Director Danny Boyle and producers Simon Beaufoy and Christian Coulson , who all won Oscars for “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009,  have reunited to tell the story of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, heir to the oil fortune.

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Getty was only 16 when he was snatched on the streets of Rome on July 10, 1973. His kidnappers demanded $17 million for his release, but his father, John Paul Getty, Jr., did not have that kind of money. A drug addict, he turned to his father for help. However, the senior Getty balked, arguing that paying would make his other grandchildren would become targets.

Only after the kidnappers cut off the teen’s ear and sent it to a newspaper in November with a demand for $3 million did the Getty family pay. A month later, the young man was released but his life was never the same. He struggled with drug addiction and a 1981 overdose left him wheelchair bound. He died in 2011 at only 54. His son Balthazar was born in 1975 and has enjoyed  a successful acting career, including a stint on the Emmy-winning “Brothers and Sisters.”

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The limited series is set to start shooting this summer, with location filming on tap for both Rome and London. In making the announcement, John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions sad, “We’re thrilled to begin production on ‘Trust.’ The scripts from Simon Beaufoy are fantastic; surprising, nuanced, funny. They give Danny Boyle so much to work with. We appreciate everything that they, Christian Colson and all of our producing partners have done that will help make ‘Trust’ a show that is certain make the Platinum Age of television even a little weightier.”

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