An HBO movie about the 2008 financial meltdown is finally moving. HBO has acquired rights to Too Big to Fail, the bestselling book by New York Times reporter Andrew Sorkin. Peter Gould has been hired to write the drama, and Spring Creek’s Paula Weinstein and Jeffrey Levine are executive producers.
The project has been slow going because it was first set up with a book co-written by Sorkin’s Times colleague Joe Nocera and Vanity Fair writer Bethany McLean, and they haven’t turned in their manuscript. HBO execs say they will marry the source materials to chronicle the financial crisis the same way that Recount dissected the disputed Florida results in the 2000 presidential election.
For his part, Sorkin says his book lends itself well to that task. He 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.”