Con man's story a real 'Crack-up'


Writer-director Craig Zobel and producer Beau Flynn want to tell you the story behind "Gizmondo."

Flynn has optioned an October 2006 Wired article by Randall Sullivan titled "Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up" that Zobel brought to him. Zobel will write the screenplay to direct, and Flynn and Tripp Vinson of Contrafilm will produce.

The article focuses on Swedish con artist Bo Stefan Eriksson, who, among other stunts, wrecked a million-dollar Ferrari Enzo going 160 mph on Pacific Coast Highway above Malibu in February 2006.

Eriksson previously had launched a hand-held video game company, Gizmondo, that ultimately filed for bankruptcy. Allegedly once a figure in organized crime, he has been in and out of Swedish and U.S. jails for fraud, extortion, auto theft, embezzlement, kidnapping and other charges.

Eriksson was deported after leaving jail in January 2008 and arrested again in March.

"He just keeps giving," Flynn joked.

Contrafilm most recently produced the 3-D adventure "Journey to the Center of the Earth," which grossed $231 million worldwide. The company also has "Riot," "Red Dawn" and "What's Your Number?" with Anna Faris in development at Sony.

The Gersh-repped Zobel has the comedy "Loudermilk" in development with the Heder brothers' Greasy Entertainment at Rogue Pictures. He also co-wrote and directed the award-winning festival hit "Great World of Sound" in 2007.

"Craig's sense of tone is what really blew me away," Flynn said. "Craig has a quality like the Coen brothers. He really has that keen and acute ability to capture what's real but also capture the comedy in what's real." (partialdiff)