A television series based on 1MDB-linked bestseller “Billion Dollar Whale” is in the works, developed by “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon and the co-financier of “Crazy Rich Asians” SK Global, in association with a line-up of other big names including Michelle Yeoh.
According to entertainment news site Deadline.com, Willimon is working on the series with Westward producing partner Jordan Tappis and Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, while SK Global’s John Penotti, Charlie Corwin and Marcy Ross will serve as executive producers.
Former Bond girl Yeoh meanwhile will be a producer.
Calling the story “a tale of financial greed and deceit, and a darkly comedic social satire”, Penotti and Corwin said it was difficult to overstate its cultural impact “in Asia and around the world”.
“we’re thrilled to be able to bring this incredible story to life for a global audience,” Willimon and Tappis were quoted as saying.
“Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World”, written by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, centres on Low Taek Jho, the man accused of masterminding the 1MDB scandal which has been called one of the biggest cases of fraud ever.
The case is currently under investigation in a number of countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and the US.
Former prime minister Najib Razak who was implicated along with Low, popularly known as Jho Low, was slapped with multiple criminal charges in relation to the troubled state fund.
In July last year, he was convicted of seven counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving some RM42 million in funds from former 1MDB unit SRC International.
He was sentenced by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.
The court allowed his application to stay the execution of the decision pending the disposal of his appeal.
A decision is scheduled to be made by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 although Najib has applied to postpone this to a later date in light of his trip to Singapore.