Back in 2000, Michael Douglas was making news for teaming with MGM to bring the story of famous art frauds John Myatt and John Drewe to the big screen. The production deal, however, was never closed. Years later, producers Jay Weston and Fred Levinson have picked up Genuine Fakes, and according to The Guardian, they've asked international baby saver Clive Owen to play Myatt and retired killer tomato fighter George Clooney to take on Drewe -- the role originally set for Douglas. The screenplay is almost finished for the project, and is being written by the British duo responsible for Flushed Away and Excess Baggage -- scribes Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.

The film is said to be a cross between a thriller and crime comedy, as Weston describes: "Ian and Dick have created the most amazing outline for the screenplay. The film will be set in London, and they have come up with something that is a thrilling combination of The Thomas Crown Affair and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." I'm thinking an Ocean's sort of story, with a little spin on the crime. If they do nab the pair, I imagine it will be a good, long while until we hear more about this project. While Owen has a few upcoming projects to complete, Clooney has a number of actor, producer and director projects on the go. That being said, I hope they find the time -- they'd make a great pair of funny fraud-committers.

As the story goes, Myatt was an artist who was advertising painting copying, and Drewe convinced him to recreate some more famous works by artists like Paul Klee, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. Then, Drewe made false records for the paintings, and they were then sold at auction. In 1998, the pair was convicted of fraud and sent to prison; however, while Myatt admitted his guilt and got out after a brief 4-month stay, Drewe maintains his innocence and served a 6-year sentence. The latter still claims he is the victim of a conspiracy, while Myatt has gone on to work with the producers on this film, as well as creating a living out of his fakes.
categories Movies, Cinematical