In a highly competitive situation, Matthew George’s Savvy Media Holdings has acquired the rights to the underlying material of Dick Russell’s forthcoming book Bacon Vs. Nygard: Sex-Trafficking, Political Corruption, Murder-for-Hire, and the Takedown, and Melissa Cronin’s Predator King: Peter Nygard’s Dark Life of Rape, Drugs, and Blackmail, published in April last year by Skyhorse Publishing. Justin Lader (The Discovery, The One I Love) will pen the screenplay for the feature film, which is based on the true story of a reclusive billionaire taking on his diabolical neighbor who preyed on under-aged girls while seeking to control the government of The Bahamas and allegedly enlisting hit-men to terrorize his adversaries. Matthew George (A Private War, Wind River) will produce under his Savvy Media Holdings banner, alongside Executive Producer Courtney Shepard (1917, Rocketman), the head of development at Savvy Media Holdings.
George said “Dick’s exclusive access to the heart of this story outlined in his upcoming book is astonishing in its detail. Justin’s pitch to Courtney and me on his vision for the script blew us away. This story has it all, but at its heart is a story between good versus evil, and as a film, can truly be one that defines an era.”
Based on the true story of fashion tycoon Peter Nygard (recently arrested and indicted for alleged sex trafficking) and American financier and environmentalist Louis Bacon, Battle of the Billionaires recounts the decade-long legal battle over property rights that mushroomed into a full-scale war with staged hate rallies on the streets, rival private intelligence armies, corrupt politicians receiving multimillion-dollar payoffs, and botched U.S. government investigations. Amid allegations of vandalism, bribery, insider-trading, arson, murder and sex-trafficking, Russell’s forthcoming book gives an inside account of this tale of diametrically opposed antagonists. Given unprecedented access to the Bacon brothers and their allies, as well as exclusive interviews with Nygard’s children, Russell sets forth a remarkable true tale of vengeance, betrayal, intrigue, and, ultimately, justice.
After writing The One I Love, directed by Charlie McDowell and starring Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, Lader reteamed with McDowell on Netflix’s The Discovery starring Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough and Robert Redford. He has penned scripts for upcoming films Gilded Rage and Patience, among others.
Lader is represented by ICM Partners and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
The deal was negotiated by Jonathan Cohen on behalf of Savvy Media Holdings.