〉The Epic Magazine article centers on Italian gentleman thief Vincenzo Pipino
20th Century Fox is making good on their first-look deal with Epic Magazine, set to adapt the outlet’s true story art theft piece PIPINO. Pipino: Gentleman Thief, penned by Joshua Davis and David Wolman, concerns the exploits of master thief Vincenzo Pipino, who scaled multiple stories and clay rooftops to swipe precious and refined art, clothing, and jewelry in 1990’s Italy.
The pick-up marks one of the first under Fox’s deal, which gives the studio first-look on any stories published by the online venture, and those written by founders Davis and Joshuah Bearman. Mark Roybal and Sarah Schweitzman will oversee for Fox, while Davis and Bearman will produce for Epic.
The article follows Pipino’s upbringing, detailing his rise from petty robbery to grand scale thefts, becoming what the police viewed as the “most talented thief in modern Venetian history.” The elegant Pipino played a friendly cat and mouse game with inspectors, regularly dining with Detective Antonio Palmosi, and had a tepid relationship with the mob and criminal underworld.
The piece in particular tells the story of Pipino’s great theft of the iconic Madonna col Bambino from the Ducale and his efforts to return the stolen art, as he duped both the mob and the police. Though the factual nature of the heist’s thrilling events is still disputed, the story is an incredible tale of mafiosos, intrigue, and the caper of a lifetime, spun by the most clever (and well-dressed) burglar in history.
Bearman and Davis together have had a combined eighteen articles optioned, most notably Berman’s Wired Magazine piece that served as the basis for the Oscar-winning Argo. Warner Bros. recently bought the rights to Davis’ Wired articles, titled John McAfee’s Last Stand, which centers on the founder of McAfee software company and details how he ended up in Central America, fleeing law enforcement.
Fox previously picked up Epic’s The Mercenary, which follows the true story of an American mercenary who was brought to the Peruvian Andes to recover gold stolen from a mine.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor