A musical based on the 1911 Mona Lisa theft, is in response to the likes of "The Greatest Showman", "La La Land", and "Hamilton", who employ pop/ radio friendly songs. None of the songs in this script are original, but are from The Great American Songbook (songs produced from the 1920's-1960's; i.e.: standards of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, et al) to expose a younger audience to those songs (lyrically, the arrangements will be original), but to also reintroduce an older audience to songs that were staples of the last century.
Inspired by true events and historical figures: most notably jazz and blues musicians of France and Europe (Yves Montand, Charles Trenet, Edith Piaf, respectfully), the film is a road trip with the central protagonist being an American artist and the problem revolving around him being framed for the theft of the painting.
In terms of research, the theft, which was acted out by Vincenzo P., an Italian Lovure worker who believed that the Mona Lisa deserved to be in her home city (Florence), stole the painting by wearing a white janitor's smock, appearing as one of the workers and took the painting, leaving only four pegs on the wall. This was not noticed as it was believed that the painting was being restored or worked on in some other fashion. The following morning, Louis Beroud, a painter who was working on a painting of the Mona Lisa ("Mona Lisa au Lovure" (1911)), discovering the four empty pegs and alerting police. He later finished the work, which is hanging in the Lovure (along with other works).
Vincenzo hid the painting for two years in his apartment in Paris and after this, toured the painting in Italy. He was heralded as a hero in Italy but a criminal in France - he received six months in jail but ultimately ended up in a French monastery later for a different crime, in which he later died.
For the film, the painting is stolen in the same manner and Beroud finds the painting in a similar fashion, but liberties were taken with the finding of the painting.
The project has been going on since c. 2012 and a draft was completed on May 1st, 2018.