108 Production Plans Film About Hedge Fund Manager Convicted of Fraud
NEW YORK - 108 Production is looking to tap into financial news headlines and maybe even the negative sentiment expressed by Occupy Wall Street protesters, unveiling on Thursday a movie inspired by the story of former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.
The founder of Galleon Group earlier this year was found guilty on 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud and was earlier this month sentenced to 11 years in prison. His legal team has appealed the conviction. 108 Production described the project, entitled Billion Dollar Raja, as "an investigative financial mafia drama inspired by the true story of Galleon Group founder Mr. Raj Rajaratnam, his network of Wall Street honchos, big corporate insiders, employees and a prosecution team determined to punish those involved in the most complex insider trading case in history through secret wire-tap recordings."
Billion Dollar Raja will be written and directed by Nayan Padrai and produced by Sheetal Vyas, who wrote the story for the film. Padrai, Vyas and Ritu Ahuja previously produced indie romantic comedy When Harry Tries to Marry under their 108 Production banner.
108 said the new project is being developed as a feature with an international star cast. It plans a six-week filming schedule in the fall of 2012, primarily in New York City with briefer shoots in Florida and Italy, among others. Cast attachments are in the works and will be announced in the spring, the company said.
“I am a big fan of films like All the President’s Men, Donnie Brasco and The Social Network,” Padrai said in a statement. “The elements of this case are irresistible with a mafia style operation in the shady underbelly of Wall Street offices, filled with prosecutors, wiretaps, tipsters, a moll, sexual encounters, unapologetic greed, major corporations and the billionaire king of the markets a.k.a. Raja.”
Highlighting a colorful cast of characters, 108 said that 21 other defendants have plead guilty in the insider trading case, with charges just filed Wednesday against Rajat Gupta, a former board member of Goldman Sachs and ex-CEO of McKinsey.