EXCLUSIVE: The story of WeWork and its controversial founder and former CEO Adam Neumann is to be the subject of a feature documentary from Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire, Forbes Entertainment and Olive Hill Media.
Jed Rothstein, who directed the Oscar-nominated short Killing In The Name, as well as an episode of Netflix’s recent true crime docuseries The Innocence Files, will helm.
The doc will follow the rise and fall of the shared workspace company under its hard partying founder. It will look at how over the last ten years Neumann was able to raise more than $12B from the likes of JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son and command a $47B valuation. However, while the company was looking for a $100B IPO, the wheels soon came off and Neumann was forced out of the company.
Campfire, the Wheelhouse Entertainment-backed producer of series such as FX’s The Most Dangerous Animal Of All and Netflix’s The Innocent Man, is producing in association with Forbes Entertainment and Olive Hill Media, which is financing the film.
The film, which marks Forbes Entertainment’s first foray into feature film, is based on its reporting of WeWork’s descent from revered unicorn company and Wall Street darling to one of the most controversial tech startups in existence. Campfire had previously partnered with Business Insider on a WeWork documentary, but this is a new project.
Dinerstein will produce the film, with Campfire’s Rebecca Evans and Ross Girard serving as executive producers. Travis Collins, Kyle Kramer and Randall Lane are executive producing for Forbes Entertainment, and Tim Lee will executive produce for Olive Hill Media, which is financing the feature. CAA Media Finance and WME represent the film jointly. Rothstein is represented by UTA.
Production of the as-yet-untitled film has already begun remotely with archival research and in-person interviews and other filming set to commence as soon as state and local stay-at-home and social distancing orders are relaxed.
It is the latest WeWork project to emerge. Apple is developing a limited series based on Wondery’s WeCrashed podcast, co-written by Little America co-creator Lee Eisenberg, while You’re The Worst’s Stephen Falk is behind a series starring Succession’s Nicholas Braun as Neumann from Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content.
“WeWork’s story has taken so many dramatic twists and turns in such a short period of time,” said Dinerstein. “We look forward to illuminating every odd and outrageous detail, offering a 360-degree view while unveiling new elements and perspectives with our partners at Forbes, who have already done extraordinary work in chronicling the company’s unique journey.”
“Forbes has been covering the story of WeWork and Adam Neumann for the better part of a decade,” added Kramer. “We are excited to apply our collective expertise on the subject, and are thrilled that our first feature film project will be led by such supremely talented filmmakers as Ross and Jed.”
“This is an Icarus fable for the era that just ended,” said Rothstein. “In WeWork’s ashes, we find clues to how we might better balance our needs for community, capitalism, and the health of society in the era to come.”
“With great risk comes great stories,” said Olive Hill Media’s Tim Lee. “We are thrilled to partner with Jed, the Campfire team, and Forbes Entertainment on this fascinating story. Audiences will get to peek behind the curtains at WeWork and experience the company’s journey through the lens of an incredibly talented director, backed by an award-winning production house and well-respected investigative journalism team.”