Variety is reporting that Columbia Pictures has acquired the screen rights to the Lucy Prebble-written play, Enron, which dramatizes the scandalous rise and fall of the titular energy company. Unlike the Oscar-nominated documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the new movie will be a regular narrative feature.
Prebble herself will adapt her original play for the big-screen, with Laura Ziskin already in place as producer. Prebble's previous credits include the play The Sugar Syndrome, and she is the creator and writer of the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Her Enron play has already done extremely well in the UK; it will come to the end of its sold out run at London's Royal Court in November, before moving over to Broadway next Spring.
In case you don't know, Enron was a Texas energy company who at one point employed 22,000 people and had revenues of (reportedly) $111 billion (yes, BILLION). The basics of the company's scandal and subsequent downfall is that there were certain, "irregular accounting procedures," involving them and their accounting firm, Arthur Anderson. If you're interested in reading more, Wikipedia is your friend :P .
Matt Goldberg over at Collider makes a great point about Columbia now making this movie: Does the studio hope that making a dramatic movie based around the Enron scandal NOW would make it seem more relevant? Or was Prebble's play just that good and it was that alone that prompted the studio to option it? The film will certainly get people's attentions now, considering the current corporate financial quagmire pretty much all of us are wallowing in.
But to paraphrase Matt at Collider: Will people really have interest in sitting through a movie that just reminds them of their financial problems? (I wonder if that has crossed Michael Moore's mind as of late...) Or will people be willing to watch Enron because they're interested in finding out some specifics, even if it isn't entirely relevant to them? (Because you know they could watch the documentary for that.)
I'll be interested to see the movie, if only to see a dramatic take on the whole Enron affair, as opposed to the more factual (but still somewhat entertaining) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. I just wonder how factually accurate the movie will stay, or whether they'll take liberties with what really happened. The latter is always inevitable and understandable to at least some degree when a movie is based on real life, but I hope they don't stray too far away from the truth. Doesn't the movie going audience deserve that?
What do you think of a new, dramatic Enron movie being made? Would you be interested in seeing it, or is real life financial drama enough for you?
Enron doesn't have a release date yet.
Sources: Collider and Variety