Following one of the biggest sports scandals in modern history, it was a pretty fair bet that Hollywood wouldn’t delay in dramatizing the exploits of ousted FIFA exec Chuck Blazer. With the coals still smoldering, The Hollywood Reporter reported today that Warner Brothers won a bidding war for the forthcoming book on the scandal, Houses of Deceit, and it looks like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Pearl Street Films will sign on to produce.
The pieces have been put together at a breakneck pace for the movie version of Houses of Deceit, which THR reports was being pitched as a book proposal as late as last week. The book is based around an article by Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter Ken Bensinger, who detailed the scandal on Buzzfeed in June 2014 with the article Mr. Ten Percent — The Man Who Built — and Bilked — American Soccer.
In the article, Blazer is exposed for his role in taking a litany of bribes, syphoning large percentages of FIFA sponsorship deals and TV contracts (hence the “Mr. Ten Percent” nickname), as well as tax evasion. After rising from “soccer dad” to become a powerful FIFA exec, Blazer eventually ended up as an informant for the FBI in a scandal that ran deep into the bowels of the FIFA organization.
The players appear to be salivating over the potential biopic, as there are plenty of twists and turns that should make it an engaging drama, as well as plenty of juicy roles, including a pair of FBI agents, and tenacious U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch, who came down on Blazer at the height of his exploits.
Along with Affleck and Damon, the film will be produced by Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman’s Entertainment 360. Gavin O’Connor, director of the forthcoming Ben Affleck film, The Accountant, has reportedly signed on to direct the new film, which will be adapted for the screen by Anthony Tambakis.