Tales From the Crypto: Hollywood’s Ready to Pounce on Saga of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried
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Given Hollywood’s obsession with tales of great financial ruin — and the trophies many actors have collected for playing the figures behind them — we say confidently that it is only a matter of time before we get a scripted account of the still-unfolding Sam Bankman-Fried disaster.

Bankman-Fried is the wild-haired 30-year-old Silicon Valley whiz kid seen as a savior by the financial news establishment, a generous bundler for the Democrats and a deep-pocketed partner to celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. Most interesting? He no longer has a job.

The entrepreneur (known mostly by his initials, SBF) has in the past week seen a stunning collapse of his cryptocurrency platform FTX, which at one time held a reported $50 billion in assets. Upwards of $2 billion in customer funds is missing or, according to other reports, was never on the FTX balance sheet to begin with. At one point last weekend, Bankman-Fried was reported to have fled his company’s home base in the Bahamas to avoid a Securities and Exchange Commission probe (he denied he left the territory), and listed his $40 million beachfront luxury penthouse for sale. Can Andrew Garfield smell the Oscar from here? (Just in case he can’t swing it, let’s check on Ben Schwartz’s avails.)

While no formal charges have yet been brought against Bankman-Fried, characters like him have historically made for incredible film and TV fodder. With FTX earning comparison to the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse, auteurs like Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), Shonda Rhimes (“Inventing Anna”) or Elizabeth Meriwether (the Emmy-winning Elizabeth Holmes series “The Dropout”) must be salivating. So might any of the dueling filmmakers behind one of at least four projects about the GameStop stock saga.

Good news: We won’t have to wait long. Michael Lewis, the A-list nonfiction writer of the books that became “Moneyball” and “The Big Short,” has been embedded with Bankman-Fried for six months working on a tome about FTX. See you after the bidding war.

From Variety US