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.”
“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.