×

‘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.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation

    Kevin Smith Announces Anime 'He-Man' Series for Netflix

    Kevin Smith surprised audiences at Sunday’s annual Power-Con convention by announcing a new anime “He-Man” series for Netflix. The new series, titled “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” will take place in the Mattel toy inspired world and will focus on some of the unresolved storylines of the classic ‘80s show. Smith will serve as showrunner [...]

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content