Danny Boyle’s “Trust” TV Series Has Epic Scale

Last year came the news that Danny Boyle would be directing and producing a new TV series called “Trust” for FX.

Now, further details about the show have been revealed in an interview with Collider and it turns out to be an epic. Boyle has reportedly planned a five season story arc for the series which will span fifty years – each season covering a new decade from the 1970s to the current 2010s.

Described as equal parts family history, dynastic saga and satirical examination of the corrosive power of money, the based on a true story limited series would follow the Getty family – the oil and industrialist tycoons who owned Getty Oil and established the Getty Museum.

The first installment will be shot in Italy and England and focus on John Paul Getty III, grandson of Jean Paul Getty and father of actor Balthazar Getty. It will deal with the famous kidnapping in Rome of the then sixteen-year-old boy. Lasting for six months, the case famously saw the kid’s grandfather only offer a ransom amount that was tax deductible ($2.2 million) and then loaned the remainder to his son, the boy’s father, at 4% interest to pay off the kidnappers.

In the series the Italian police think it’s a prank and decline to investigate, the boy’s father is lost in a heroin daze in London and refuses to answer the phone, the grandfather lives in the English countryside surrounded by five mistresses and a pet lion, and that leaves on his mother – who is broke – to negotiate with increasingly desperate kidnappers.

The case inspired A.J. Quinnell’s novel “Man on Fire” which subsequently inspired the 2004 Denzel Washington film. The plan is to begin shooting this Summer and Boyle is expected to only direct the first two or three episodes of the series. Explaining why he won’t direct them all, Boyle says:

“I’d love to do them all. I think that would be wrong because I think the danger is you are not allowing the form to take over. You’d be doing 10 mini-films, which is not the form. The format is that you’re letting the characters tell the story and directors are an aid to that rather than the driving force. I’m going to limit to two or three. We’re just in the process of deciding whether it should be two or three.”

It’s unclear if Boyle will come back to direct episodes in subsequent seasons or just remain a godfather of the series ala David Fincher on “House of Cards”. Christian Colson and Simon Beaufoy will also executive produce.