HBO adapts former Congressman George Santos' ‘Gatsby-esque journey’ to big screen
Watch rise and fall of George Santos, the former congressman, in the upcoming HBO Films adaptation of 'The Fabulist' by Mark Chiusano.
The story of George Santos, the former congressman who was kicked out of Congress last week for lying and misusing campaign funds, is heading to the big screen.
HBO Films has acquired the rights to The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos, a new book by Mark Chiusano, a former Newsday reporter. The movie will be produced by Frank Rich, a former New York Times columnist and the executive producer of two Emmy-winning shows Succession and Veep. The screenplay will be written by Mike Makowsky, who also wrote the HBO crime drama Bad Education.
The book and the movie will explore the “Gatsby-esque journey of a man from nowhere who exploited the system, waged war on truth and swindled one of the wealthiest districts in the country to achieve his American Dream”.
Santos, who faces criminal charges, represented part of New York District Three, which includes Great Neck, the inspiration for Little Egg, the fictional town where Jay Gatsby, the protagonist of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, lived and lied.
Chiusano quoted to the Guardian last week that Santos’s saga was “a tragedy” at its core.
“He is someone who is clearly very ambitious and wants to live a kind of wealthy life, a life of fame and notoriety, and he is trying to attain essentially a version of the American dream, which so many people have sought over the years.”
On Friday night, the former US state representative tweeted that he would file complaints about former colleagues Nicole Malliotakis, Mike Lawler, Nick LaLota and Bob Menendez, whom he accused of various misdeeds.
On Sunday, Reince Priebus, a former Trump White House chief of staff and ABC political analyst, admitted that there were divisions within the Republican party over the vote to expel Santos and the issue of taking away the power from the voters in his district.
“True, he lied. He has a big mouth, all of these things. You know, I do think there is a concern with taking that power away from the people in the district,” Priebus said. Santos, he added, was “a victim of himself. But he is also paying the price for having a big mouth, for being almost a comedian in front of his colleagues, who are now his judges. And he paid the price. And that’s a good lesson about, when you get in trouble, you keep your head down; you keep your mouth shut”.
New York Magazine, which covered Santos’s rise and fall in detail, quoted Dr Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”