Warner Bros. may have found its very own Wolf of Wall Street. The studio has preemptively acquired film rights to David Howard’s book proposal Chasing Phil: The World’s Greatest Con Man, Two Undercover FBI Agents, and Their Amazing Around The World Adventure, for Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan to produce through their Team Downey banner.
Downey may star in the pic as Phil Kitzer, a charismatic and fiendishly clever con man behind dozens of multi-million dollar schemes, which he executed with the help of his network of associates, collectively dubbed The Fraternity.
The story is envisioned as a mash-up of Wolf of Wall Street and Goodfellas, about two young FBI agents who infiltrate a worldwide organization of big-spending crooks with eyes to bringing it all crashing down.
For now, Downey is only attached as a producer, and his schedule in front of the camera is pretty busy thanks to his roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, a juicy role like Kitzer may be too good for the actor to turn down, especially because his last drama, The Judge, was a pretty bitter disappointment for those involved outside of Robert Duvall, who inexplicably bagged an Oscar nomination.
The studio is clearly gung-ho about Chasing Phil, having snagged rights to Howard’s upcoming book as well as the life rights of FBI agents Jim Wedick and Jack Brennan. As such, execs will surely make a generous offer to try to convince Downey, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, to take on the lead role and turn this into a Catch Me If You Can-style awards contender.