It's the kind of story that begs for a movie adaptation.
A 19-year-old ingenue whose dreams of changing the world through revolutionary medical technology end up making her the youngest self-made woman billionaire. A toxic workplace chock full of intimidation tactics, secrecy, and covert relationships between a CEO and COO. And, most shockingly, a years-long fraud about a blood-testing technology that simply didn't work.
Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, didn't change the world with a finger-pricking device that could run hundreds of blood tests, as she promised during countless talks and pitches to investors. But she did start a craze of a wholly other variety. Ever Since Theranos' deceit was uncovered, largely thanks to the journalistic endeavors of WSJ reporter John Carreyrou, Holmes has been the center of a media flurry. Carreyrou's book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup has spent weeks on the New York Times' Bestseller List. Theranos' fall is explored further in a podcast (The Dropout), a Nightline documentary, and The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley, a documentary that just premiered at Sundance. Finally, Holmes' story is also getting the feature film treatment. Here's what we know about the upcoming movie, called Bad Blood.
1. Jennifer Lawrence will play Elizabeth Holmes.
Lawrence will emerge from her one-year acting hiatus by donning Elizabeth Holmes' signature black turtleneck. Lawrence will play Holmes on her journey from Stanford drop-out to tech wunderkind to where she is now: indicted on wire fraud charges. That said, Holmes is still forging ahead in her career, never mind the impending movie adaptation. Carreyrou reported that in June of 2018, Holmes was shopping her new start-up idea to potential Silicon Valley investors.
2. Adam McKay will helm the project.
McKay is an intuitive choice for director of Bad Blood. His past two movies, The Big Short and Vice, have examined the damage the powerful and elite few can have on the many. Theranos' story is fascinating in the details of a Steve Jobs-worshipping scammer CEO and a toxic work environment, but also in its "big picture" perspective of Silicon Valley culture. How was Holmes able to dupe so many well-respected and highly influential people into believing her stories, without providing tangible evidence? People were so caught up in Holmes being the next Steve Jobs that they believed her.
3. Vanessa Taylor will write the script — as well as some other highly anticipated movies.
Vanessa Taylor is on the cusp of becoming a household name. Taylor earned an Academy Award nomination for co-writing The Shape of Water with Guillermo Del Toro. Now, she's set to adapt two renowned works of non-fiction for the big screen: Bad Blood and Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance's memoir about growing up in an Appalachian family. Taylor, who has previously written for Game of Thrones, was also tapped by Disney to rewrite the script for the live-action Aladdin.
4. We don't have a release date yet.
Currently, Bad Blood is in development with Legendary Pictures. FilmAffinity reports the movie will come out in 2020.
5. But we can start prepping for the movie now.
Taylor is adapting the movie script from Carreyrou's 2018 book, Bad Blood, which proved that business books can, indeed, be thrillers. Bad Blood is a riveting, fast-paced book that unpacks, in meticulous detail, the scam of a century. Likely, the book is a good preview of what to expect in the movie. Carreyrou tells Holmes' entire life story, from her childhood, to her charming of Stanford professors, to her taking on — and fooling – the whole world. Since McKay is directing Bad Blood, expect all that and some cheeky asides from A-list actors.