Movie in the Works About 1972 Worcester Art Museum Heist

It'll be based on the book Stealing Rembrandts.

A lot of people know about the stolen paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but not many people are aware of the other Massachusetts art robbery that took place nearly two decades before the infamous heist.

Whydah Productions announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the movie rights to Stealing Rembrandts, the bestselling book about notorious art theft cases by New York Times reporter Tom Mashberg and art security expert and Gardner Museum security director Anthony Amore. The production company will be working with the authors to develop a film about the heist at the Worcester Art Museum in 1972.

The case was the first armed robbery to take place at the museum and resulted in a security guard getting shot and wounded when two masked men entered the building. The thieves stole The Brooding Woman and Head of a Woman by Paul Gauguin, Mother and Child by Pablo Picasso, as well as St. Bartholomew by Rembrandt, however, the paintings were quickly returned.

The mastermind behind the plot was Florian “Al” Monday, a longtime criminal who saw his plan fall apart just hours after the theft. He was charged along with three other individuals after the paintings were discovered on a pig farm in Rhode Island.

“This was a cleverly plotted but poorly executed art heist,” Whydah Productions cofounder Casey Sherman said in a statement. “Yet, it’s an extremely compelling story with high levels of both drama and comedy. We have a strong vision for this film and are excited to be partnering with two renowned art theft experts such as Amore and Mashberg on this project.”

Sherman and his fellow Boston Strong co-author Dave Wedge will serve as producers on the project along with Ted Collins. According to a press release, the filmmakers hope to shoot on location in Worcester.