EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners won a spirited bidding battle over seven suitors to win rights to The Mechanic, a new novella by Ben Mezrich. The author, who wrote the nonfiction books Accidental Billionaires (adapted into The Social Network by Aaron Sorkin), and Bringing Down the House (the basis for 21), will write the script.
Mezrich, who has authored 22 books, here wrote a work of fiction that was published in serialized form by The Boston Globe over the course of two weeks in May.
Here are the plot pieces: An enigmatic card shark looking for an easy score. An ex-con with an inside track on a priceless haul of stolen art. A professor who uncovers a secret that could change the world. They unwittingly find themselves entangled in a mystery as old as the country itself — a mystery that someone is willing to kill for.
Mezrich has been working as a consulting producer on the current fifth season of Showtime’s Billions.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are attached as co-executive producers. The twin brothers, who met Mezrich during the writing of that book that told their story in The Social Network, just made a deal with Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures to produce a feature film adaptation of Bitcoin Billionaires, based on Mezrich’s bestselling that chronicled how they made a fortune dealing in the elusive currency. Silverman and Jon Berg are producing that one with the Winklevoss brothers.
Amblin President of Production Jeb Brody and creative executive John Buderwitz will oversee the project for the studio.
CAA brokered the rights deal on behalf of Mezrich.