Marketplace Scratch Pad

Too Big To Fail: The Movie

Scott Jagow Mar 4, 2010

HBO has been weighing several options for creating a film about the financial crisis. It appears HBO has settled on turning Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book “Too Big To Fail” into a feature.

HBO has acquired the rights to the book, but the screenplay will be written by Peter Gould. He’s the author of several episodes of the AMC series “Breaking Bad” and the 1994 film “Double Dragon”, which was based on a Nintendo video game. What, you don’t remember Scott Wolf and Alyssa Milano taking on a ninja army in post-earthquake Southern California? Maybe he can just adapt that screenplay for this one. Deadline New York writes:

(Sorkin) focused specifically on players like Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his successor Timothy Geitner, Lehman Bros CEO Richard Fuld, and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, in boardrooms, private planes and bedrooms as the financial system teetered on the brink of collapse. “You see their human sides, the hubris, the ego,” Sorkin said. “You see Hank Paulsen literally vomiting and Dick Fuld crying with his wife as their world fell apart.”

So who might play the starring roles? Well, perhaps HBO will take clues from a chat last night at NYU between Paulson and Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack. From CNN:

…Mack truly flustered the former Treasury boss when he asked his last question. In a movie version of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big To Fail, Robert DeNiro will play Mack and Danny DeVito will play Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Mack said-yes, dreaming. But given such casting, he asked Paulson, who should portray you? Paulson stumbled, then suggested “a young Paul Newman.” Reconsidering his options, he admitted, “I’m afraid you’d have to bring back Yul Brynner.”

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