Danny Boyle Reveals 11 Details About His New TV Series Trust

No. 1: Brendan Fraser is a time traveler. Oscar-winning director talks about his TV take on the Getty kidnapping and its comparison to 2017 Ridley Scott movie All the Money in the World.

by | March 21, 2018 | Comments

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, director Danny Boyle, 2008. ©Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection)

It’s been a big week for Danny Boyle. He just revealed that he is directing the next James Bond movie — likely to be Daniel Craig’s last — and his new TV show Trust premieres on FX this Sunday.

Trust is the story of the Getty kidnapping.

Stop us if you heard this one before — like in December 2017 with the movie release All the Money in the World.

J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland) was the wealthiest man alive. His grandson John Paul III (Harris Dickinson) gets kidnapped while living in Italy. Despite his wealth, Getty Sr. refuses to pay the ransom.

John Paul’s mother Gail (Hilary Swank) wants her son back, but she doesn’t have access to her father-in-law’s money since the divorce. Getty did send James Fletcher Chase (Brendan Fraser) to help Gail in Italy.

Oscar-winner Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about adapting the Getty story for television, the differences between Trust and All the Money in the World, and the Getty family secrets the TV show will reveal.


In some episodes, Chase will turn to the camera and talk straight to the viewer. It’s a technique that’s been used since even before Ferris Bueller, but Boyle thinks it doesn’t just remove Chase from the story. Boyle says Fraser’s Chase is not even of the time of the events surrounding the kidnapping.

“I think of him as a time traveler,” Boyle said. “If you actually look at what he says in the beginning about 1973, he says it’s too old for rock & roll and too young for disco. How does he know it’s too young for disco? It is 1973. He knows about disco coming in 1976. How does he know that?”

That would make Chase from the future if he knows when disco begins, right?

“Not necessarily,” Boyle said. “He’s certainly a time traveler, which means where he comes from originally, I don’t know. He’s seen the future.”


Boyle began work on Trust before he heard of the movie, but the film’s Christmas release allowed him to view it while putting the finishing touches on the show.

“I went to see it, and I enjoyed it very much,” Boyle said. “It’s a very bizarre experience, watching a film made by somebody else but the same subject. I’ve never had that experience, and also by one of my heroes, Ridley Scott. It’s very enjoyable watching what he did with it.”

Over the holidays, Boyle was rooting for Scott’s success.

“In fact, you want the other film to be a success, because I think if people are interested in the story, they’ll seek out this other version of it,” Boyle said. “Listen, I think in 10-, 20-years time, maybe there’ll be another version.”


TRUST -- "The House of Getty" -- Episode 1 (Airs Sunday, March 25, 10:00 p.m.) Pictured:(l-r) Harris Dickinson as J. Paul Getty III, Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Sr. CR: Oliver Upton/FX

(Photo by Oliver Upton/FX)

Trust can cover way more ground in 10 hours than All the Money in the World could in two. Nevertheless, both productions ended up in the same location at least once.

“We use this place Hatfield House, which in London is one of the places you just go to,” Boyle said. “It’s the perfect house. It’s got this gold ceiling, so we both ended up using that location for a couple of scenes. So there’s a direct overlap as well.”


TRUST -- The House of Getty" -- Episode 1 (Airs Sunday, March 25, 10:00 p.m.) Pictured: Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Sr. CR: Oliver Upton/FX.

(Photo by Oliver Upton/FX)

Trust will go all the way up to J. Paul Getty’s death in 1976. All the Money in the World ended with his death too, only the film suggested he died shortly after John Paul III was returned.

Trust keeps it vague, too, but implies that three years have passed.

“It compresses that,” Boyle said. “By the end, you’ve got to that point, but it’s obviously not taken three years. It’s just a compression, noticeable compression, a passing of seasons rather than specific years. We start off and say it’s 1973, but it’s a time traveler talking to you. It’s taken with a slight pinch of salt.”


TRUST -- Pictured: Luca Marinelli as Primo. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX

(Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

All the Money in the World suggests that one of the kidnappers, Cinquanta, befriended John Paul III and helped to keep him safe. John Paul III has a different ally in Trust.

“You will see, in our story, he’s a lawyer — that’s the main conduit for negotiations between the kidnappers [and Gail],” Boyle said. “The main one is played by Luca Marinelli. Those are inventions really. We’re not trying to literally portray the kidnappers. They’re inventions really.”


TRUST -- The House of Getty" -- Episode 1 (Airs Sunday, March 25, 10:00 p.m.) Pictured: Harris Dickinson as John Paul Getty III. CR: Oliver Upton/FX.

(Photo by Oliver Upton/FX)

One of the most well-known aspects of the Getty kidnapping is that the kidnappers cut off John Paul III’s ear and sent it to the Gettys. It’s shown explicitly in All the Money in the World. Trust does it in episode eight.

“As you’d expect, something that is as well known as that, obviously that’s an element in the story, yes,” Boyle said. “Episode eight. That’s what everyone knows. When you mention the story, that’s what everybody jumps to straightaway.”


TRUST -- Pictured: Hilary Swank as Gail Getty. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX

(Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

In All the Money in the World, she’s going by Gail Harris, and she’s single. Trust shows Gail in another relationship, but still using her ex-husband’s name.

“Actually, I think it was probably both, because she spent a lot of time as Gail Harris as well,” Boyle said. “She used the name Harris, as well, and she worked. She had a job where she’s one of the few people who was not beholden to the money. She’s one of the few people who seem to be able to resist it.”


TRUST -- "The House of Getty" -- Episode 1 (Airs Sunday, March 25, 10:00 p.m.) Pictured:(l-r) Harris Dickinson as J. Paul Getty III, Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Sr. CR: Oliver Upton/FX

(Photo by Oliver Upton/FX)

One of the details All the Money in the World couldn’t focus on too much was the possibility that John Paul III faked his own kidnapping. At the very least, a ransom note dated days before he went missing suggests he had at least considered conning his own family.

“A lot of people said that he was involved really,” Boyle said. “You’ll see if you watch the other episodes exactly how it does unravel eventually, constantly being thrown back against his grandfather’s pitiless rationality about dealmaking. His commitment to dealmaking, as he sees it, is one of the joys of looking at it.”

Like any biographical drama, Trust is based on true events, but can’t claim to be 100 percent historical. The kidnapping hoax is a tad ambiguous.

“It’s speculation, of course, because nobody quite knows, but there was a lot of evidence that led us to that way of thinking,” Boyle said. “Then he was seen in a nightclub two days later [after the date of the ransom note].”


TRUST -- "The House of Getty" -- Episode 1 (Airs Sunday, March 25, 10:00 p.m.) Pictured: (l-r) Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Sr., Amanda Drew as Belinda. CR: Oliver Upton/FX

(Photo by Oliver Upton/FX)

The Gettys may be the closest family America has to royalty. Boyle thinks even bigger than kings and queens.

“I thought the emperors of Rome,” Boyle said. “That kind of unparalleled wealth puts you in a position almost of emperors really, which is you think you have control of the world really. You must do if you get to that stage. What are you interested in every day? Making the five billion [dollars] turn into five-and-a-half billion? Maybe. I don’t know, maybe that exercises him. I don’t think he does.”

Once money gets boring, people like Getty move on to power. World domination begins at home.

“I think what exercises them is can they dominate?” Boyle said. “Can their willpower dominate the world? Can their worldview be accepted by the maximum number of people? ‘I see it like this. I think everybody should see it.’ I think that’s what exercises them. That’s power.”


TRUST -- Pictured: Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Sr. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX

(Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

One of the ways J. Paul Getty was able to hold onto so much wealth is he expertly avoided paying taxes. All the Money in the World touches on this a tad, but Boyle was fascinated by the way Getty set up his businesses.

“He tried to actually control that through this trust — the literal trust, the money trust, the Sarah Getty Trust — through which he operated the companies and prevented any of them going into profit so he could avoid taxation around the world,” Boyle said. “He must have been one of the pioneers of that, which is now used by any powerful company if it can.”


TRUST -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Bellini as Jutta Winkelmann, Harris Dickinson as J. Paul Getty III, Laura Bellini as Martine Zacher. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX

FX may have another American Crime Story–style anthology series on their hands. While Trust covers the John Paul III kidnapping in 10 episodes, Boyle has two more Getty stories planned and each one would take a whole season.

“There are two more series planned, one of which is like an origin, to go back and see where he made his money and his own relationship with his father and mother which is very critical,” Boyle said. “And then a later story, which is how the family, after his passing, dealt with the trust.

Trust premieres on Sunday, March 25 at 10 p.m. on FX.

Tag Cloud

Set visit discovery Rocketman 2017 Pixar dceu documentary Sundance Valentine's Day 20th Century Fox technology independent FX IFC Films Marvel Television Tumblr VH1 laika Countdown children's TV joker Logo MCU MTV critics toronto ITV name the review USA Network Rom-Com PBS Song of Ice and Fire Cosplay criterion Showtime satire crime Winners mockumentary Columbia Pictures Lifetime Christmas movies YA Shudder cancelled cancelled TV shows Dark Horse Comics sequel BBC Vudu what to watch italian 99% USA Paramount Network HBO Max Awards Star Wars comic Writers Guild of America diversity blaxploitation Elton John boxoffice SundanceTV political drama VICE The Purge Syfy video rotten sitcom Reality Anna Paquin CNN E3 all-time boxing Disney Ellie Kemper Captain marvel batman football Film Festival The Walking Dead Country Schedule cooking crime thriller DC Universe festival book Reality Competition Trailer Amazon Prime slashers cars Biopics Certified Fresh cartoon streaming Musicals elevated horror revenge based on movie 2018 The Arrangement Comedy Central Superheroes spy thriller Ghostbusters strong female leads Winter TV Animation disaster HBO Go Grammys APB American Society of Cinematographers dc harry potter historical drama free movies archives Cannes Emmy Nominations french Best and Worst New York Comic Con Amazon Toys canceled TV shows Premiere Dates spinoff cancelled TV series History 2016 obituary WGN Holidays Fall TV Crunchyroll AMC Travel Channel WarnerMedia scary movies series spider-man indie Western comics worst movies fresh Turner news south america Mary Tyler Moore sag awards TCA Winter 2020 Hallmark dark CBS All Access aliens 24 frames hispanic talk show Quiz First Reviews psychological thriller Extras die hard Oscars BBC One Brie Larson Mindy Kaling ratings Red Carpet dogs period drama Pet Sematary The CW video on demand Black History Month breaking bad concert Black Mirror Nominations Mudbound rt archives Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt IFC adaptation Sneak Peek game show movie Mary Poppins Returns police drama Apple RT History Comics on TV Universal TV Land Film Pop ABC casting venice black politics Apple TV+ halloween tv National Geographic japanese Television Critics Association blockbuster Chernobyl Super Bowl animated Tarantino asian-american NBC Apple TV Plus BAFTA game of thrones CMT Calendar binge Mary poppins Fox News medical drama robots cinemax deadpool Esquire VOD Hear Us Out GoT vampires fast and furious Marvel parents YouTube reviews chucky Cartoon Network LGBTQ universal monsters justice league witnail Rock FOX CBS Fox Searchlight best FX on Hulu Drama Creative Arts Emmys Netflix Christmas movies directors Chilling Adventures of Sabrina E! 72 Emmy Awards worst 71st Emmy Awards doctor who natural history comedies Stephen King Sci-Fi Sundance TV stand-up comedy foreign The Witch OneApp award winner Holiday tv talk green book 2019 remakes jamie lee curtis sports mutant a nightmare on elm street SXSW GLAAD Comic Book nbcuniversal docudrama Amazon Prime Video First Look cats Family Interview Acorn TV Photos cancelled television rotten movies we love anthology TLC 4/20 Sundance Now serial killer Alien Awards Tour james bond movies Britbox Starz Disney Plus Tubi supernatural ESPN BET Awards anime OWN Walt Disney Pictures See It Skip It DC streaming service TV composers Pop TV Funimation spanish language Paramount Women's History Month Adult Swim thriller screenings Lionsgate Crackle Marvel Studios SDCC indiana jones Binge Guide films El Rey Infographic documentaries PlayStation TBS stoner Amazon Studios Kids & Family theme song toy story YouTube Red Watching Series Freeform BBC America LGBT werewolf Avengers franchise Teen spain DGA Ovation cops Election Lifetime unscripted DC Comics Academy Awards Action facebook Box Office cults reboot Baby Yoda Marathons Character Guide President HBO CW Seed hist transformers kids TCA 2017 Turner Classic Movies Podcast ghosts YouTube Premium Masterpiece zombies television christmas movies Disney Channel romance Fantasy scorecard child's play NYCC classics superhero Classic Film TV renewals Horror mission: impossible ID zero dark thirty crossover travel GIFs 45 war Endgame festivals A&E The Academy RT21 screen actors guild Arrowverse DirecTV twilight renewed TV shows biography San Diego Comic-Con Bravo Nat Geo Martial Arts romantic comedy social media Spring TV Trivia Musical 2015 australia comic books 007 stop motion crime drama Disney+ Disney Plus teaser Superheroe TCA Video Games dragons Pirates emmy awards Discovery Channel singing competition Tomatazos latino psycho ABC Family Disney streaming service X-Men science fiction zombie Thanksgiving Spectrum Originals MSNBC Star Trek Pride Month finale dramedy golden globes Shondaland quibi Year in Review richard e. Grant Nickelodeon Polls and Games Comedy FXX Rocky Food Network Music spanish canceled Heroines sequels Summer Opinion miniseries BET TNT TIFF nfl Lucasfilm Spike Emmys 2020 TCM nature Peacock Mystery true crime PaleyFest hollywood space Netflix adventure A24 halloween Trophy Talk Television Academy Hulu Hallmark Christmas movies comiccon 21st Century Fox Christmas versus TCA Awards Warner Bros. Epix TruTV Sony Pictures