EXCLUSIVE: A feature documentary about the 1MDB scandal and one of the fund’s alleged masterminds, international fugitive Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, has started production this week in London.
Man on the Run will chart how Low Taek Jho was born to a rich family from Penang Island, Malaysia, and educated at the elite Harrow School in London and the Wharton School of Business in the U.S. Before he was wanted for his role in the 1MDB scandal, the 40-year-old businessman and financier led a glamorous life that included paying to party with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and dating supermodel Miranda Kerr. He was involved in the financing of Martin Scorsese hit The Wolf of Wall Street and has been dubbed “the Asian Great Gatsby.”
But he has since faced charges of massive money laundering and a litany of other offences related to the multibillion-dollar Malaysian fund prosecutors say he led for many years. He is now believed to be residing in China and is wanted by international authorities.
The disgraced financier has already been the subject of multiple films, including doc The Kleptocrats. As announced late last year, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon is also developing and producing a series based on Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World, the non-fiction book about the corruption scandal.
Man on the Run is being directed by Cassius Michael Kim (The Wonder List With Bill Weir). The plan is to shoot in Washington D.C., New York City, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore and Los Angeles after it wraps in London.
Kim is executive producing under his The Smoking Section banner, in association with Evergreen Media’s Scott Norville. Brian Epstein (3212: Un-redacted), Alyse Shorland (The Weekly) and Rhana Natour (PBS NewsHour) are producers.
Director of photography is Joe Simon (The Get Together) and editors are Karl Dawson (After Parkland) and Jon Connor (New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization). Original music will be composed by Jordan Asher Cruz, aka Boots. Visual effects artists Ian Hunter (First Man) and Camille Balsamo-Gillis are designing and creating miniature sets to depict past events.
“With the benefit of hindsight, we’ll examine the full scope of impact for one of the largest known financial scandals in history,” said Kim. “Through interviews with previously unheard sources and original reporting, our film will be the definitive accounting of this saga as well as an indictment of the global capitalist system and its inability to regulate itself in the face of avarice and corruption.”
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