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Granada, Newmarket teaming for ‘Trader’

LONDON — Granada Film and Newmarket Capital have come on board to co-finance “Rogue Trader,” starring Ewan McGregor as the man whose crooked dealings brought down Barings Bank.

The film, which starts shooting next month, is being directed by James Dearden, who adapted the screenplay from Nick Leeson’s autobiographical account of his part in the Barings crash.

Capitol Films is handling international sales. Originally, Capitol was lined up to co-finance the project with New York-based Foundry Films, but Granada and Newmarket came up with a better offer (Daily Variety, June 27).

McGregor will play Leeson, a young working-class derivatives trader based in the Far East whose phony dealings made him appear hugely successful, while in reality he was losing the blue-blooded Barings Bank several hundred million pounds. His deception was discovered when he fled into hiding and was finally caught at Frankfurt Airport. Leeson is now serving a jail sentence in Singapore.

The movie is being produced by David Frost and Claire Chapman, and starts shooting in November. The budget is less than $15 million.

This is the first major movie to be packaged by Charles Finch, who joined the London office of the William Morris Agency earlier this year as head of motion pictures, Europe. WMA reps Dearden, Frost, Granada and the book on which the film is based, while McGregor is repped by Lindy King of Peters, Fraser and Dunlop.

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