Apple has reportedly made a $5 million deal for the film rights to Michael Lewis’s book about Sam Bankman-Fried, according to Hollywood gossip site The Ankler.
Star author Lewis followed and interviewed the now-disgraced FTX founder for months to write his new book Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon. However, the author began his interviews before Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange imploded and before his arrest on charges related to its demise. A once-in-a-lifetime scoop.
Apple Won the Rights to Lewis’s Going Infinite
According to The Ankler’s report, “several sources” acknowledge that Apple picked up the film rights for $5 million. Lewis, who also wrote The Big Short, about how multiple traders bet against the US housing market prior to the 2008 financial crisis, arrived at the sum after a mad scramble for the film rights.
Ultimately, Apple secured a deal to produce a full-length film by making the big financial offer. According to The Ankler, few other studios or streaming services could rival Apple’s financial muscle.
Even so, there is little doubt that Netflix and Amazon could have been strong contenders.
Learn how FTX imploded, wiping out billions from the crypto markets: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell
It is unknown whether Going Infinite will be a streaming or cinematic release. Until now, Apple has focused on content for its streaming service Apple TV+.
Although, in March of this year, the tech giant announced it would spend $1 billion producing films designed for the silver screen.
Lewis, who also wrote Moneyball and The Blind Side, both of which became blockbusters, has a history of writing successful books that lead to Hollywood pictures. Moneyball, a film about how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane used data analytics to build a competitive baseball team on a tight budget, garnered $110.2 million at the international box office. It also received 6 Academy Award nominations.
However, The Blind Side, the story of a homeless young man who becomes a star American football player, did even better, getting $300 million. Although, this time, the film garnered two Oscar wins for Best Actress and the coveted Best Picture.
Bankman-Fried Continued to Talk to Lewis After His Arrest
Michael Lewis’s unparalleled access to Bankman-Fried for Going Infinite, scheduled for release on October 3, may propel it into the best-seller lists. In a stroke of luck for an author, he was close to finishing his manuscript when FTX collapsed, giving him a fly-on-the-wall take on Bankman-Fried’s world as his empire crumbled around him.
Strangely, Bankman-Fried continued allowing Lewis to interview him for Going Infinite long after his arrest in the Bahamas on January 26. The esteemed author has called conversations with the FTX founder “rich and interesting”—a good sign for potential readers.
“They’re longer, actually,” Lewis told the New York Times. “Instead of talking to him for 45 minutes because that’s all he had, I’m now talking to him for four hours.”
Sam Bankman-Fried is currently held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, with his trial set to start next month. However, at the end of August, a judge floated the possibility that the trial might not get underway until next year.
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