‘Billion Dollar Whale’ book being adapted for TV series, produced by ‘House of Cards’ creator Beau Willimon
The duo have also teamed up with SK Global, which co-funded “Crazy Rich Asians” for this.
Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang is said to be writing this adaptation.
SK Global’s John Penotti, Charlie Corwin and Marcy Ross will serve as executive producers alongside Willimon and Tappis.
Famed Malaysian actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh is also named as a producer for this series.
“At Westward we are drawn to stories that reflect the complexity of the times we live in, centring on enigmatic and surprising characters.
“We’re also drawn to developing innovative ways to produce work in a quickly shifting entertainment landscape.
“With David Henry Hwang at the helm, and SK Global at our side, this project allows us to do both. We’re thrilled to be able to bring this incredible story to life for a global audience,” Willimon and Tappis said in a joint statement.
“It’s hard to overstate the cultural impact of this story in Asia and around the world. It’s both a tale of financial greed and deceit, and a darkly comedic social satire,” Penotti and Corwin added.
Billion Dollar Whale was written by two award-winning Wall Street Journal journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope and focused on the role of the flamboyant Low ― whose real name is Low Taek Jho ― whom US prosecutors allege to be the mastermind of the biggest heist of the century worth US$5 billion from the Malaysian sovereign investment fund.
Published and named Financial Times Best Book of 2018, Billion Dollar Whale also delves into the complex web tying the world’s elite families, global banking, the world politics both Malaysia’s and internationally, and Hollywood.
The estimated US$5 billion theft ranks among the biggest cases of fraud in history. It remains under investigation by authorities in Malaysia, Singapore, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United States.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently on trial in Malaysia for his role in the scandal.
He has already been found guilty of multiple counts of corruption and criminal wrongdoing in usurping RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary and sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.
The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya is scheduled to deliver its verdict on his appeal against the SRC International conviction on December 8.