Actor and director Jake Gyllenhaal is planning to make a movie about accused “Ivy League dad killer” Thomas Gilbert Jr., but some who know the man on trial fear that he will be glamorized in the process.
PageSix says that the project has “blue blood boiling” as Gyllenhaal is planning to lend his name to a film called Gilded Rage about the murder of the Manhattan hedge-funder father. It’s not clear whether the actor plans to star in the film, produce, or play another role, but people are concerned.
One socialite expressed concern that Gilbert Jr. would be portrayed as a victim in the case.
“It’s so upsetting. They’re just going to glamorize Tommy. He doesn’t deserve that. Tommy can’t be the victim in this film — people need to remember he was a monster — a calculating, rage-filled psychopath.”
Thomas Gilbert Jr., 34, had a shady past before his father was murdered, and before the graduate of Princeton University allegedly killed his father after his allowance was cut in 2015. Jr. had been banned from the tony Maidstone Club for reportedly threatening an employee (said to be a caddie at the club), and was also a suspect in the arson of a Sagaponack, Long Island historic home.
Gilbert Jr.’s lawyers have asked repeatedly for a psych exam for their client, but prosecutors insist that he is faking his symptoms in the hopes of being found not guilty due to mental disease or defect. The defense team is arguing that Gilbert Jr. had a psychotic break when he pulled the trigger, but people who know him worry that the Gyllenhaal project will be sympathetic to the accused.
“It’s important for people to understand that everything Tommy did was methodical and vicious. He just seems to be painted in another light.”
Oxygen says that the project is supposed to have a true crime feel based on the articles in Vanity Fair about Thomas Gilbert Jr. and Sr., playing up the high society background of the hedge funder and his son and their “gilded” life in Manhattan. Prosecutors say that the younger Gilbert shot his father because his $3,000 per month allowance was being cut by $200, but Jr.’s mother, Shelly Gilbert continues to blame mental illness, saying that she had been trying to get her son hospitalized for over 15 years. She claims he was put on medication while he was a student at Princeton.
“Think if we put people with cancer in a courtroom with lawyers, the outrage would be overwhelming. Yet that’s what we do with our mentally ill.”