EXCLUSIVE: Michael Lewis’ fortunate timing seemingly has paid off.
Deadline is hearing that Apple is near to a deal for the book rights to Lewis’ story about fallen crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried and his FTX empire.
The author behind Moneyball, The Big Short and The Blind Side spent six months with the embattled entrepreneur, before the stuff hit the fan.
When the deal closes at what sources peg at mid-seven figures, the streamer will have beaten out considerable competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon for the project.
It is expected to be turned into a feature film. Word in town is an expectation that Adam McKay might become involved, but if so that would be down the road. He adapted Lewis’ book The Big Short. A lot of this is happening in real time, as sources said they didn’t believe there was much to pitch other than the subject and the promise of a proper deep dive by a writer who is the master of turning complicated financial matters into A-list entertainment.
Bankman-Fried, who was understood to be worth up to $26B in paper holdings at one point, ran the cryptocurrency company before it collapsed earlier this month, with Bankman-Fried resigning as CEO of the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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Lewis’ book will attempt to explain what went down at the company and with Bankman-Fried, who was forced to put his rich Bahamas resort up for sale and deal with the fallout that also saw a number of celebrities including Tom Brady and Larry David sued for their part in promoting it. With revelations, billion-dollar loans, money grabbed by Bankman-Fried and his girlfriend, and other shenanigans being reported by the day, and FTX’s favorable position coming from political donations to Democrats, you get the feeling that a lot more will play out here.
We heard last week that others circling the project included Amazon Studios, David Heyman, writer Wells Tower and David Yates, Netflix with David Fincher and Sugar23 with Josh Gad.
Lewis’ book is one of a number of projects on the topic.
Scott Burns and Jonathan Glickman’s Panoramic have a project with The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin, who has closely covered the FTX debacle, and Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning writer behind Benedict Cumberbatch film The Imitation Game, also has thrown his hat in the ring with plans to write direct an adaptation of New York Magazine’s deep dive into the subject.
There will undoubtedly be more to come on this one.