EXCLUSIVE: Beau Flynn’s New Line/Warner Bros-based FlynnPictureCo. has optioned the Bryan Burrough Vanity Fair article “Fyre Festival: Anatomy of a Millennial Marketing Disaster Waiting to Happen.” It will be used as the basis for a narrative feature film that Emily Jerome (penned the Black List script Panopticon) will write, and which Tim Wardle is attached to direct. He’s coming off the breakout documentary Three Identical Strangers.
The package is being shopped, starting today. The film focuses on the disaster that was the Fyre Festival, billed as a luxury music Coachella-type gathering in the Bahamas. The event was cooked up by 25-year-old wannabe entrepreneur Billy MacFarland, who used his flair for social media messaging and his pal Ja Rule to lure moneyed young people into paying exorbitant prices for accommodations and entertainment.
Revelers found there were no luxury accommodations, nor any bands. There were tents that got soaked from a rainstorm the previous day and the place quickly descended into what sounds from Burrough’s lyrical writing like a version of Lord of the Flies.
How did this babyfaced impresario sucker an elite crowd into flying in for an event he was woefully unprepared to pull off? He hired very famous models like Emily Ratajkowski and other hip folks to cavort in a Fantasy Island setting in the following video, that set the hook:
Burrough, the bestselling author of Barbarians at the Gate, reported that the reality of Fyre Fest was far from the video that launched it. When the rich young folks took to social media to plead for someone to get them off that island, it turned into a class battle, with many trolls overjoyed by their suffering. Two documentaries have already come out, and the legal implications from this massive fraud are still playing out. It is rich ground for a narrative feature.
Burrough, who’ll be a consultant, is repped by CAA and the Wylie Agency. Wardle is CAA and Independent Talent, and Jerome is CAA and Kaplan/Perrone and Lichter Grossman.
Flynn is currently in post-production on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, which stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt at Disney and which debuts worldwide July 24, 2020. Next up for Flynn Picture Co. is Universal’s Red Notice, from writer-director Rawson Thurber and starring Johnson and Gal Gadot.