EXCLUSIVE: The biopic based on the life of indicted billionaire commodities trader Marc Rich, who the public will remember from that controversial pardon by then President Bill Clinton in his last day in office, is steadily moving forward. Inside Man’s Russell Gewirtz has been hired by Uri Singer’s BB Film Productions to adapt The King Of Oil about Rich, a child of the Holocaust who ended up incredibly wealthy before being indicted on 65 criminal counts (including tax evasion).
The story, based on the book by Daniel Ammann, which BB Film acquired this past fall, follows Rich’s illegal oil dealings with Iran during the hostage crisis to his quiet cooperation with the Cuban, Israeli, and U.S. governments. The Glencore founder never faced a judge or jury. Rich was in Switzerland when he was indicted on those criminal counts and lived his life abroad until his death two years ago. Rich was 78 at the time of his death.
“Marc Rich’s story feels as relevant as ever, particularly with U.S. on the brink of a presidential election,” said Singer. “King Of Oil will offer a hard look at the connection between monetary power and government.”
Rich was a child survivor of the Holocaust and then became the wealthiest and most powerful oil and commodities trader of the century until his criminal indictments in 1983.
Ammann’s book, The King Of Oil: The Secret Lives Of Marc Rich, is considered the only official biography of Rich and should prove to be more than fertile source material for Gewirtz, who also penned the scripts for Righteous Kill and The Labyrinth. Rich is interviewed throughout the book.
Swiss multi-hyphenate Daniel Turcan, who is co-producing Michael Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime (starring Geena Davis, Tim Robbins, Jon Hamm and Lois Smith) alongside Singer, will come on board as partner at BB Film Productions in time for the project.
BB Film Productions also recently announced the production of Almereyda’s first script, Tesla, about the life of Serbian born genius and inventor, Nicola Tesla. Gewirtz is repped by Paradigm and Industry Entertainment and attorney Patty Felker.