HBO is currently in the midst of airing McMillions, a documentary about the McDonald’s Monopoly scam that was almost forgotten about until a Daily Beast article brought it back into the limelight. After the original article broke, nearly everyone, everywhere, thought: “Hey, this would make a good movie!” And while McMillions got to it first, Ben Affleck has also been attached to helm a feature based on the story. So is that still happening in the wake of McMillions? Affleck says he’d still like to make the film – but its fate remains up in the air for the moment.
First, a quick refresher: Between 1989 and 2001, an ex-cop named Jerome Jacobson found a way to rig the McDonald’s Monopoly game. He built up a network of friends and friends of friends to pull this off, and was able to defraud McDonald’s for millions of dollars. The story was just starting to gain national attention in 2001 – and then the September 11th attacks happened, and pushed the McDonald’s scam off every front page in the country. The story mostly faded into obscurity – at least in the public eye – until the summer of 2018. It was then that the Daily Beast ran an article digging into the story, and brought it back to everyone’s attention.
The story is back in the news yet again thanks to HBO’s very entertaining docu-series McMillions. But there’s also a non-documentary feature film in the works – or at least, there was. Ben Affleck was set to direct, and Affleck’s pal and frequent collaborator Matt Damon was going to star in the feature, titled McScam, which was set-up at 20th Century Fox. This was before Disney bought Fox, though, which means there’s some question as to where McScam stands.
Collider caught up with Affleck and asked what the status was on the film. “We’ve gotten a new draft,” Affleck said. “That’s really good. Hollywood’s a weird place, because the person who was running the studio when they bought that script, just left that job. And the studio that was going to make it got bought by another studio. So there’s these moments where things sort themselves out, and you sort of see ‘Is this still a priority, or are they really interested in different kinds of movies?’ And I’m not sure whether or not, McScam, what kind of priority it is. We really like it. We’re still developing the script.”
I hope Affleck does eventually get to make this. The story is perfect for a feature adaptation, and while I enjoyed McMillions, I’m very interested in seeing a dramatized take on the material – and I tend to enjoy Affleck’s directorial efforts.
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