HBO Documentary Films and Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney will team up to investigate the bizarre tale of Theranos, the once multibillion-dollar healthcare company that made young founder Elizabeth Holmes a billionaire and an accused fraud in short order.

Gibney directed HBO’s Emmy-winning Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, and the Academy Award-winning Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

The documentary is in production now and comes as The Shape of Water co-scribe Vanessa Taylor was tapped this month to adapt the story into a feature film, Bad Blood, to be directed by Adam McKay and star Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes. The project is set up at Legendary.

Holmes was a Stanford drop-out in 2004 when she started the company she touted as a revolutionary approach to healthcare. Ten years later, with her Theranos valued at $9 billion, Holmes was the youngest “self-made female billionaire in the world,” HBO says. Two years later, the company was valued at less than zero and the SEC called the company a “massive fraud.”

Gibney, says HBO, will draw on “extraordinary access to never-before-seen footage and testimony from key insiders” to “tell a Silicon Valley tale that was too good to be true.”

“With all the drama of a real-life heist film,” says HBO, “the untitled documentary will examine how this could have happened and who is responsible, while exploring the psychology of deception.”

Alex Gibney
HBO

“This story is a classic example of truth is more dramatic than fiction,” says Gibney. “The characters are at once larger-than-life and real.”

The documentary is a Jigsaw Production for HBO Documentary Films, directed and written by Gibney. Producers are Gibney, Erin Edeiken and Jessie Deeter. Editor is Andy Grieve; co-editor, Alexis Johnson. Associate producer is Ophelia Harutyunyan; and Graydon Carter is executive producer Graydon Carter. Sara Bernstein and Nancy Abraham exec produce for HBO.