Christopher McQuarrie, who’s currently filming the latest installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, is already setting up what might be his next directorial effort. And he’s assembled quite the supporting crew to tackle it. McQuarrie will develop to direct The Chameleon, an adaptation of David Grann‘s 2008 “New Yorker” feature of the same title that chronicled the story of a serial impersonator and accomplished con man.
Deadline reports that Netflix has acquired the rights to the feature and has set McQuarrie to develop and direct from a script by Oscar-nominated writer Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street) and co-writer Carl Capotorto (The Sopranos). McQuarrie will produce along with his producing partner and wife Heather McQuarrie; Winter and his Oscar-nominated wife Rachel Winter will also produce.
The Chameleon follows the unbelievable true story of Frédéric Bourdin, a French con man who impersonated missing teenagers for roughly 15 years from the mid-1990s until his arrest in 2005; he had been posing as an orphaned 15-year-old boy who quickly climbed the social ranks at his high school despite the fact that he was older than many of the school’s teachers. Bourdin was only apprehended thanks to a sharp-eyed administrator who spotted him on a television program and made the connection to the supposedly orphaned student after a Google image search.
Over the years, Bourdin had lived with a family in San Antonio, Texas, claiming to be their missing brother, and had “insinuated himself into youth shelters, orphanages, foster homes, junior high schools, and children’s hospitals. His trail of cons extended to, among other places, Spain, Germany, Belgium, England, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Bosnia, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, France, Sweden, Denmark, and America” according to the original feature. That’s a story that’s quite fitting for this psychological thriller, one with more bite than Catch Me If You Can and reportedly skewing towards the likes of The Silence of the Lambs and Making a Murderer.