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‘Wolf Hall’ Producer Playground Enters ‘The Spider Network’

Production company Playground, founded by former HBO Films president Colin Callender, has optioned rights to narrative nonfiction book “The Spider Network” by award-winning Wall Street Journal writer David Enrich.

Playground produces for film, television and stage but has yet to announce what formats would be developed for “The Spider Network,” an expose of the interest-rate-fixing scandal that rocked London and other global financial centers. Playground produced both the TV and theater adaptations of “Wolf Hall” and helped produce smash hit “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which recently won a record nine Olivier Awards in Britain.

The company will develop “The Spider Network” from its New York offices under the stewardship of senior vice president of development and production Scott Huff and director of development and production Elyse Dolbec.

Author Enrich is currently financial enterprise editor at The Wall Street Journal. Subtitled “The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History,” “The Spider Network” expands a series of articles about brilliant but troubled British trader Tom Hayes, who became involved in one of the biggest financial scams in history and was later imprisoned. The series won Enrich the 2016 Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business and financial journalism.

Given exclusive access to Hayes and his family, “The Spider Network” is Enrich’s tell-all account of the characters at the center of the scandal. Huff likened the globe-trotting story to recent hits “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Big Short,” with an “enigmatic central character in banker Tom Hayes.”

“David Enrich’s book is a thrilling account of the Libor scandal and the man who took the fall for it that asks probing questions about who really pays the price for misconduct in a system that’s too big to fail,” said Huff.

Playground is currently in production on a television adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “Howard’s End” for the BBC and Starz. The show is directed by Hettie Macdonald from an adaptation by Oscar-winner Kenneth Lonergan and stars Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Tracey Ullman.

Playground’s West End stage production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will open on Broadway in spring 2018 at the Lyric Theatre.

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