LONDON — Ewan McGregor is being lined up to play the crooked derivatives trader Nick Leeson in a film to be directed by James Dearden, based on the true story of the collapse of Barings Bank.
“Rogue Trader” has been adapted by Dearden from Leeson’s own book. The $10 million film is being financed by New York-based investment fund Foundry Films, and will be sold internationally by London-based Capitol Films.
The deal is the first big package to be put together by Charles Finch, who recently arrived as head of motion pictures Europe in the London office of the William Morris Agency, with a brief to boost the agency’s Euro film activities.
“Rogue Trader” is being produced by Dearden alongside Claire Chapman and David Frost. Leeson, a working-class wheeler-dealer who was based in the Far East, destroyed Barings by running up huge trading losses that he managed to disguise as even huger profits, while the bank’s upper-crust bosses lauded him for his success. He eventually went on the run before being caught at Frankfurt Airport and returned to prison in Singapore.