A Matt Damon and Ben Affleck McDonald’s Heist Movie Is in the Works
A true tale about a massive Monopoly scam will get the Matt/Ben treatment after Fox bought the rights to the unusual story.
The true story of a multi-million-dollar scam involving the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion will get the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck treatment at some point, after Fox bought the rights to the tale and arranged for the two Boston stars to make the movie.
According to Deadline, which broke news of the deal, the sale came after highly competitive auction that followed a piece written by Jeff Maysh for the Daily Beast last month called How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions. The article chronicles the real-life exploits of Jerry Jacobson and his “network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners, convicts, drug traffickers, and even a family of Mormons, who had falsely claimed more than $24 million in cash and prizes” from the fast food chain.
In case you don’t remember it, the McDonald’s Monopoly game and its innovative melding of burger-eating and board gaming was a massive hit when it debuted in 1987 and has seen several iterations over the years ever since. Heavily promoted on TV, the promo encourages consumers to peel off little pieces of paper modeled after the Hasbro game that lends it its name, which are attached to packaging for the chain’s products. If you’re a remotely regular fast food buyer, chances are you have at some point had a bunch of them stuffed in your car’s center console or placed along one of those big game maps in your living room. But because of the way it’s designed—some pieces are a lot more rare than others—it’s difficult to win big. That is, unless you cheat. And so begins the story that Hollywood apparently believes has the big screen written all over it.
The cinematic merits of it are pretty apparent, including the opening scene of Maysh’s piece, when investigators show up at the front door of Rhode Island man and co-conspirator Michael Hoover disguised as a film crew with a phony big check in hand.
Damon is slated to star and Affleck will direct a script written by Deadpool‘s Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, Deadline reports, and their company, Pearl Street, will produce.