Michael Lewis, author Ball of money and Great Shorthead, has been following FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for the past six months to write his next book. And while the potential ending to Lewis’ book has apparently changed in the past week since FTX’s $32 billion investment, Lewis is already shopping around for film rights, according to new report from The Ankler.
Matthew Snyder of talent agency CAA, which represents Lewis, reportedly sent an email around Friday to Hollywood bigwigs explaining that Lewis has been interviewing Bankman-Fried for months. Lewis and Bankman-Fried have been discussing everything from the FTX founder’s childhood to his early successes on Wall Street, whichand Lewis is sure to have the inside story on everything that happened before FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday.
“Of course, the events of the past week have brought the story to a surprising conclusion. He also pointed to the conflict between Bankman-Fried and the head of Binance Chnagpeng [sic] Zhao. Michael compares them to the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader of crypto,” the email with Snyder reads, according to a screenshot published by The Ankler.
“Michael hasn’t written anything yet, but the story has gotten too big to wait. Let me know if I’ve piqued your interest,” the email continued.
The misrepresentation of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, or CZ as he is often called, refers to how CZ’s actions sent FTX into a tailspin. CZ bought a 20% stake in FTX back in 2019 but had a falling out with Bankman-Fried, according to Reuters. When Bankman-Fried bought out CZ’s stake in FTX in mid-2021 it was mostly with FTX’s native token, FTT. CZ sold $580 million of that token last week, which sent the house of cards crashing down.
Lewis had hinted over the summer that he was on to something big, telling Financial News that he had been introduced to someone inside the crypto business with a mutual friend.
“I don’t really want to say what I’m writing about. But I found a character that I can write about – it’s strangely connected Flash Boys, Great Shorthead and Poker Liar,” Lewis said Financial News back in August, referring to his other books.
“I’m pretty much over the next year to be at this person’s hip. I don’t know what the story is yet,” Lewis said.
We now know that person is Sam Bankman-Fried. And it’s not clear what kind of access Lewis has now that that shit has really hit the fan.
The 30-year-old Bankman-Fried founded FTX in 2019, a crypto exchange that grew to a valuation of $32 billion in an incredibly short time. SBF, as he is often called, became a billionaire while selling himself as an ethical rich guy. He was a promoter of “effective altruism” apparently donates millions each year, and is a vegan who has donated to mostly left-wing political causes, including President Joe Biden.
But it all came crashing down last week, thanks in large part to Bankman-Fried allegedly transferring billions of dollars in FTX client funds to sister group Alameda Research, where he bet he couldn’t cover it. It is reported that both the SEC and DOJ open inquiries into the former billionaire, even before the company filed for bankruptcy on Friday. To make things even weirder, FTX was supposed to be “hacked” over the weekend and there was about $600 million in crypto drain.
Bankman-Fried, who was personally worth around $26 billion at his peak, is apparently still in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, although there are rumors that he is trying to escape. to a country without an additional treaty with the US – a move that would. obviously make a good appearance in whatever film is eventually produced.
Michael Lewis is no stranger to Hollywood and the rights to his work are pretty much guaranteed to fetch him a pretty penny. The author’s book Ball of money it was adapted to the big screen by Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in 2011, and his book Great Shorthead adapted for Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Christian Bale in 2015. Both films were very popular, with Ball of money grossing $110 million on a budget of $50 million and Great Shorthead $133 million on a budget of $50 million.
Besides the top speed of FTX’s explosion, the story of Bankman-Fried’s downfall has plenty of moments that any screenwriter would love, including a 10-person romantic relationship and rumors of widespread amphetamine use. Well, not so much rumours as tweets posted publicly by Caroline Ellisonhead of Alameda Research and romantic partner of Bankman-Fried.
Lewis will certainly have plenty of material to work from when it comes to the Bankman-Fried family history. The two founding parents of crypto are blue on Wikipedia: Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman are professors at Stanford Law School. His aunt, Linda P. Fried, is also the dean of Columbia University’s school of public health.
There is also some information from old interviews with Bankman-Fried that now appear as strange details that may or may not make the film. For example, Bankman-Fried gave an interview where he explained that he believed that books were for losers. Badly.
“I’m very skeptical about books. I don’t want to say that no book is worth reading, but in fact I believe something very close to that. I think that if you wrote a book, you rushed it, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post,” Bankman-Fried said in an interview that has since . to delete from the internet.
Maybe SBF should open a book or two about how to reverse ponzi schemes. It’s usually not good for the people who run them.