Everyone loves a rogue, and "Art Williams, Jr." was a rogue. Williams -- not his real name -- was a genius counterfeiter, circumventing even the state-of-the-art protections of new American bills. According to a 2005 Rolling Stone article (not available online), his fake notes were so good that "an FBI agent is said to have once counted $3,300 of his fakes on the hood of a police cruiser, then handed them back." He printed some $10 million in phony $100 bills before finally getting sent to jail last year, despite having been fingered by the FBI several times prior to that.

In what sounds sort of like Catch Me If You Can redux, The Hollywood Reporter posts that Art's life will be brought to the screen in The Art of Making Money, with Philip Noyce slated to direct after he finishes his Scarlett Johanson-led Mary Queen of Scots project. First-timer Frank Baldwin will write the screenplay from the Rolling Stone article (which will itself soon become a book). It sounds like a return to the good old mainstream days of Clear and Present Danger and The Bone Collectorfor Noyce, and a departure from his recent arthouse stylings (which included the absolutely sensational Rabbit-Proof Fence).

Weirdly, I can't google up anything on the real guy behind this story -- aside from the Rolling Stone article, he may as well not exist. Not having his real name doesn't help, but I'd have thought something would have turned up. I'll keep trying.
categories Movies, Cinematical