It turns out that if your last name is Sorkin, and I have heard of you, then you are a writer who is very interested in politics. While the most recent work of the most famous Sorkin, Aaron, details the relatively apolitical story of the founding of Facebook in the David Fincher-directed The Social Network, New York Times reporter Andrew Sorkin recently authored Too Big To Fail, a behind-the-scenes account of how decision makers in Washington and Wall Street responded to the looming 2008 financial meltdown. Now from Deadline we hear that HBO has acquired the rights to adapt Sorkin’s book with the intent to dramatize. I can guarantee more information on the project, as well as an excellent rate on a subprime mortgage loan, after the break.
The report suggests that Sorkin understandably agrees that Too Big is well suited for such a fictionial retelling. The narrative is driven by private conversations between the biggest of bigwigs in boardrooms, bedrooms, and private jets (sadly, he couldn’t get access to private jet bedrooms). Sorkin discussed some of the amazing things he witnessed with his backstage pass to the destruction, saying “You see their human sides, the hubris, the ego. You see [Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulsen literally vomiting and [Lehman Bros CEO] Dick Fuld crying with his wife as their world fell apart.” This has the makings of excellent dramatic context assuming the dialogue never gets bogged down in technical jargon. HBO has explored similar political fiction to great success with the Emmy-winning Recount, the story of the 2000 presidential election fiasco in Florida.
In lieu of a plot synopsis, I’ll just repeat the full title, as it is long enough to function as a plot synopsis: Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves.