Warner Bros., RatPac Option 'Once Upon a Time in Russia' (Exclusive)
'The Accidental Billionaires' writer Ben Mezrich's upcoming book centers on Russian oligarchs.
Warner Bros. and RatPac Entertainment have optioned Ben Mezrich's upcoming book Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs — A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder.
Mezrich wrote The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the film The Social Network. Once Upon a Time in Russia, which will hit shelves June 2 via Atria Books, centers on the true story of the “Godfather of the Kremlin," Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his young protege who built a multibillion-dollar empire on oil and aluminum.
The idea for the book came from Brett Ratner, who has personal relations with several Russian oligarchs. He then pitched it to Mezrich.
Ratner is producing while James Packer and John Cheng will serve as executive producers. Chantal Nong and Julia Spiro are overseeing for Warner Bros.
RatPac is already in business with Mezrich, having optioned his book Seven Wonders, which was published by RatPac Press and distributed by Perseus. (Evan Spiliotopoulos is writing the script for the Fox project, which RatPac is producing with Beau Flynn's Flynn Picture Company.) And Ratner also has a history with Mezrich, having served as an executive producer on the film adaptation 21, based on Mezrich's book Bringing Down The House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas For Millions.