Though he’s now the proud recipient of an Oscar nomination alongside co-writer Melisa Wallack for his Dallas Buyers Club script, it took Craig Borten almost 20 years to get that screenplay made. He’ll be hoping that a new project, about the life of John D. Rockefeller, starts shooting a little more quickly. With Relativity Media and Lasse Hallstrom aboard, he has a good chance.
Borten is adapting Ron Chernow’s book Titan: The Life Of John D. Rockefeller, which will chart the life of America’s first billionaire. Rockefeller ran one of the country’s most powerful and influential families and dominated the business arena in the late 1800s. Canny and ruthless, he carefully guarded the corporate secrets of Standard Oil as he grew the company to become one of the biggest in the US, avoiding an investigation into his practices. Until, that is, President Theodore Roosevelt began probing his monopoly.
In later life, Rockefeller also became a famous philanthropist, giving huge sums to a variety of causes and sponsoring medical research.
Borten, according to Deadline, sees many similarities in the life of Dallas Buyers Club’s real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodruff and Rockefeller. “Each saw capitalism as a way to divide and conquer and accumulate but ultimately became most memorable for giving back,” he says. “Lasse’s early films like My Life As A Dog and Gilbert Grape changed my view of storytelling with his humanistic approach to characters. That was a major reason for me doing this.”