Jake Gyllenhaal Producing Film About Thomas Gilbert Jr., The Ivy League Son Who Allegedly Killed Dad Over Allowance

Thomas Gilbert Jr. has been accused of murdering his wealthy father in retaliation for having his allowance cut.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Jake Gyllenhaal and Thomas Gilbert Jr.

The shocking case of Thomas Gilbert Jr., a wealthy man who graduated from an Ivy League school but who went on to be accused of murdering his father in cold blood, is on its way to the big screen, thanks in part to the efforts of actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

The 38-year old “Velvet Buzzsaw” star is working with Conde Nast Entertainment on “Gilded Rage,” a true-crime film chronicling the Gilberts’ tragic story, Collider reports.

Thomas Gilbert Sr., a wealthy hedge fund founder, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of a gunshot wound to the head in January 2015, Reuters reports. Police later said the scene appeared staged, with officers finding the senior Gilbert with a gun lying on his chest that was covered by his hand, according to the outlet. Thomas Gilbert Jr. was charged in connection to his father’s murder days later and pleaded not guilty shortly afterward.

The Gyllenhaal-produced film will be based on a number of Vanity Fair articles about the alleged murder, according to Collider. It is currently unclear if Gyllenhaal will star in the film or remain behind the camera for this particular project. Charlie McDowell, who previously directed “The One I Love” and “The Discovery,” is on board to write and direct the film, which is tentatively scheduled to begin production later this year in New York, the outlet reports.

The Gilberts’ story is one that shocked their wealthy community. Prosecutors believe that money was Gilbert’s motivation for allegedly murdering his father; they allege he was angry at his 70-year-old father for cutting his $3,000-a-month allowance by $200, the New York Post reports.

However, his mother, Shelly Gilbert, has pointed to mental illness as the reason for her son’s alleged crimes. While at Princeton, Gilbert had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on medication; they’d been “trying to get him into a hospital for 15 years,” she told the Post.

“Think if we put people with cancer in a courtroom with lawyers, the outrage would be overwhelming,” she said later. “Yet that’s what we do with our mentally ill.”

Opening statements for Gilbert’s trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 27,  Page Six reports.

Gilbert is alleged to have sent his mother out of the apartment to get food while he shot down his father, and now, she is scheduled to take the stand as star witness for the prosecution, according to the Post.

Of her impending testimony, she said, “I don’t have any choice. You have to do it.”

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