Penang-born businessman Jho Low, and the infamous 1MDB scandal is no stranger to make headlines, but now it has been swept by Hollywood to be produced into a television series.
The series will be based off of the bestselling book Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World is currently being developed for production.
The TV series is being produced by show runner Beau Willimon who made the American political thriller House Of Cards, and his Westward producing partner Jordan Tappis.
Screenwriter David Henry Hwang, a three-time Pulitzer finalist and playwright, has been poached to write and executive produce the project. SK Global and Westward will co-finance and oversee all stages of development and production.
Also playing a hand in the production, Michelle Yeoh has signed a first-look pact with SK Global, who co-funded Crazy Rich Asians. This includes producing, directing and select acting opportunities for her.
There is no news yet on whether she will also make an acting appearance in the movie.
Written by award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope and published in 2018 by Hachette Books, Billion Dollar Whale offers an inside account of Malaysia’s massive 1MDB money-laundering scandal, exposing ties of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics.
The book highlights the heist’s alleged mastermind, international fugitive Jho Low, and his adventures in Hollywood.
Still under investigation by authorities in Malaysia, Singapore, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the theft — estimated at $4.5 billion (RM18.8 billon)— ranks among the biggest cases of fraud in history.
“At Westward we are drawn to stories that reflect the complexity of the times we live in, centering on enigmatic and surprising characters,” said Willimon and Tappis in a statement.
Based on the announcement for this show, it is still in the very early stages, with interesting updates like casting, likely taking place in the future.
But of course, this might prove to be controversial as the 1MDB trial is still ongoing with former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on trial in Malaysia for his role in the scandal.
With censorship being an evergreen theme in our local media, who knows if we’ll ever get to see the series air on national television?
Be that as it may, might we get our very own Keeping Up With The Kardashians? Only time will tell…