Scott Z. Burns, who won rave reviews for his 2019 political drama The Report about idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones and his investigation into the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, will write and direct, and he’ll produce with Todd. Fake! reps a reteam between Winslet and Burns, the latter who wrote the 2011 pandemic Steven Soderbergh-directed movie Contagion in which the actress starred. Winslet will also produce Fake!
Fake! is based on the book by Jen McAdam with Douglas Thompson, based on the true-life story of Jen McAdam and her involvement with the OneCoin Ponzi scheme. The book is currently being shopped around to publishers for this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. McAdam will executive produce the movie.
OneCoin was promoted as a cryptocurrency by Bulgaria-based offshore companies OneCoin Ltd (registered in Dubai) and OneLife Network Ltd (registered in Belize), both founded by Ruja Ignatova in concert with Sebastian Greenwood. According to reports, U.S. prosecutors allgeged that the scheme rake in $4 billion worldwide. Ignatova disappeared in 2017 near the time a secret US warrant was filed for her arrest and was replaced by her brother, Konstantin Ignatov. Most of OneCoin’s leaders have now disappeared or been arrested, thought Ruja Ignatova is still at large. Greenwood was arrested in 2018, as was Konstantin Ignatov in March 2019, who pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and fraud.
Watch on Deadline
McAdam was a victim of OneCoin’s Ponzi scheme and she founded a support group for those affected. McAdam and her friends and family invested and lost close to $300K.
Fake! is a project that’s right in Burns’ wheelhouse, the filmmaker having also wrote and produced the Steven Soderbergh Netflix movie The Laundromat about about the Panama Papers, the 11 million record leak sourced to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The revelation of the documents bared the financial machinations of rulers and royalty, compete with illegal activities connected to a swam of banks and private individuals, including director Pedro Almodovar, Jackie Chan and Emma Watson.
Burns’ The Report made its world premiere at Sundance 2019 and was scooped up by Amazon for $14M at the festival. Annette Bening, who starred opposite Adam Driver as California Senator Dianne Feinstein, earned a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination.
Winslet can next be seen starring in Francis Lee’s Ammonite which was selected by Cannes and Telluride and debuted at TIFF this year. The film is being released by Neon in Nov 2020. She is currently in production on HBO’s Mare of Easttown. She’s also an Executive Producer on the HBO series. She is also reteaming with Titanic filmmaker James Cameron for 2022’s Avatar 2. Winslet is a seven time Oscar nominee, having won Best Actress in 2009 for The Reader. Her feature credits spanning several movies including Steve Jobs, the Divergent franchise, The Holiday and Sense and Sensibility have racked up over $4.3 billion at the global box office.
Todd recently produced the Warner Bros. film The Way Back starring Ben Affleck. She is also an Executive Producer of Showtime’s City On A Hill starring Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge. Todd’s near $3 billion-grossing filmography includes such movies as Jason Bourne, Alice In Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Across the Universe, Memento and Affleck’s Live by Night.
Burns is represented by UTA. McAdam is represented by UTA and Rachel Mills at Rachel Mills Literary. Winslet is represented by CAA and United Agents. Todd is represented by Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.