Warner Bros. has preemptively acquired author 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. to produce and potentially star in, TheWrap has learned.
Warners picked up the screen rights to the book for Team Downey and the studio also acquired the life rights of FBI agents Jim Wedick and Jack Brennan.
The book proposal details the FBI’s first foray into white collar crime-fighting and its use of agents as long-term, undercover operatives. The story follows two young FBI agents as they infiltrate the world of Phil Kitzer, the charismatic mastermind behind dozens of multi-million dollar schemes and his international network of associates known as The Fraternity.
The role of Phil Kitzer will be tailored for Downey, who typically plays the charismatic hero in big studio movies.
Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey will produce with Team Downey’s David Gambino, who will oversee the project for the company along with Rob Hackett. Warner Bros. executives Courtenay Valenti and Julia Spiro will oversee the project for the studio.
ICM Partners represented the proposal as well as the life rights of the two FBI agents, while publishing rights are with Larry Weissman of Larry Weissman Literary.
Downey Jr. is currently filming Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and his company Team Downey is developing movies about Pinocchio, Perry Mason and the USS Indianapolis. He’s represented by CAA.