It’s been a big week for heists. First came the McDonald’s Monopoly scam expose— one of Lainey’s long reads of the week—then there was the stroller shark heist in San Antonio, followed by the Swedish crown jewel heist featuring a speed boat getaway, and, finally, someone stole the Fields medal, which you should recognize from Good Will Hunting. This is a lot of bold heisting, and it all started with that Mickey D’s Monopoly heist. It’s like once that story got out, the dreamers of the world decided that NOW was the time to steal a shark, bag that medal, and make off with the crown jewels with the wind blowing through their hair as they race off in a speed boat like mother*cking James Bond. Everything is sh*t but at least we have some bonkers heists going on.
That McDonald’s Monopoly story, though, really stands out. Everybody, including Lainey, noted its potential as a movie or TV show. It’s an elaborate underground criminal network defrauding a creepily cheerful corporation out of millions of dollars centered around a colorful character known as “Uncle Jerry”. The script practically writes itself. And indeed, it didn’t even take a week for someone to lock down the rights to turn it into a movie. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon nabbed the rights, producing through their Pearl Street banner, with Affleck set to direct and Damon to star as “Uncle Jerry”.
This is kind of a perfect role for Damon, right? It’s like a combination of Linus Caldwell and the dirty cop from The Departed. Or, actually, it reminds me of his character in The Informant, an underappreciated movie about an oily inside man who works every side against each other. Yeah I can totally see Damon in this. As for Affleck, I hope this is more The Town and less Live By Night. Of course, I also hope to be less annoyed by the both of them, in general, by the time this movie comes out because this is a GREAT scam story and I want to enjoy the hell out of it.
We’re in the “Summer of Scam”, but not all scammers are created equal. Anna Delvey, for instance, defrauded friends and family and left regular folks with huge debts they can’t pay. She has ruined lives. The story is fascinating, but not fun. But the McDonald’s story? Is it the same when it’s a corporation being defrauded? We live in a time where corporations are hauling in record-breaking revenue and achieving unheard of wealth—Apple is the first company to be valued at a trillion dollars—and yet many of those same corporations will too often have employees living out of cars, on food assistance programs, or are manipulating regulations to avoid giving employees benefits, or cover birth control, or provide child care, or do basically anything to contribute to the health and well-being of the actual humans who make those record profits possible. Corporations game the system—they game US— so maybe that’s why the story of this particular scam went so viral. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with seeing a corporation get humbled. That’s the vibe that the McDonald’s Monopoly scam movie should tap into.