The McDonald's Monopoly Scam Movie Incited A Bidding War Between Some Huge Names

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It's been a long time since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon last worked together, but the duo that gave us Good Will Hunting more than two decades ago will soon be re-teaming for a movie centered around a particularly unusual subject. It was announced a little over a week ago that Affleck and Damon are joining forces for a movie about the long-running scam of the McDonald's Monopoly game, which was first made public back in 2001, but was recently chronicled in a Daily Beast article. However, Affleck and Damon weren't the only big names who were eager to bring this project to life, as a huge bidding war erupted in Hollywood over the film rights to this story.

Only days after the article about the McDonald's Monopoly scam, titled "McScam: How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald's Monopoly Game and Stole Millions," was published, studios and A-list actors quickly began trying to snag it for cinematic adaptation. As Vulture detailed, Warner Bros tried to buy "McScam" to make a movie that would have starred Steve Carell and been directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, who helmed Whiskey Foxtrot Tango together. Other heavy hitters included Netflix bidding on behalf of Robert Downey Jr. and The Hangover's Todd Phillips and Universal trying to snag it for a Kevin Hart-led flick, but it wasn't just studios that came to the proverbial table. Martin Scorsese was interested in making "McScam" and having frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio play the lead, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg separately pursed the project and Steven Spielberg's production company, Amblin Entertainment, attempted to acquire the rights.

But in the end, and only three days after the original Daily Beast article was published, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon came out on top in the "McScam" bidding war, as the duo came into the game with 20th Century Fox and their production company, Pearl Street Films, and paid $1 million for the story, supposedly the largest amount that's ever been paid for an optioned article in Hollywood. Affleck will direct the "McScam" movie and Damon will star, with Deadpool 2 duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick writing the script.

For those unfamiliar with the McDonald's Monopoly scam, for over a decade, ex-cop Jerome Jacobson was in charge of overseeing security for the fast food chain's sweepstakes, and initially he was vigilant with making sure anyone wasn't smuggling game pieces. But starting in 1995 and going until 2001, Jacobson started smuggling himself, exchanging game-winning pieces for duds and receiving a cut of the prize money in an operation that eventually brought in shady individuals, like the mob. By 2000, the FBI learned of the scam and built a case against Jacobson, and a year later, they arrested him and some of his associates. Jacobson is estimated to have given away around $24 million in prize winnings, much of which was passed on to his family and friends.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how this "McScam" movie is progressing. In the meantime, don't forget to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.