This could be good, although it’s interesting to see Fox Searchlight apparently mining material that would have been a mid-budget studio movie ten years ago. Jason Bateman (who recently made his directorial debut with Bad Words) will direct and star in IPO Man, which is based on the Wired Magazine article Meet The Man Who Sold His Fate To Investors At $1 A Share. That article is based off of a real life situation in which a guy named Mike Merrill offered up himself in 100,000 $1 shares, sold 938 of them, and declined to grant the shares of himself that he actually owned any kind of voting power. The result? Well the experiment is apparently still underway but he did lose his girlfriend in the ensuing chaos.
The movie will be written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster. No word on if this is tonally another Yes Man or if it skews a bit darker. Hit the jump for more on Jason Bateman in IPO Man.
Per Deadline (who broke the news):
Merrill got into an IPO niche that usually allows investors to pony up money for a cut of someone’s future earnings, for instance. Merrill put himself on the block at $1 per share for 100,000 shares, and sold 928 of them. He started as a curiosity, with friends, family members and his girlfriend buying in. He made it interesting in that even though he still owned the majority of himself, he made that non-voting stock, meaning his investors could decide how he would conduct himself professionally, like when he got a thumbs up on his decision to invest $79.63 in a Rwandan chicken farmer. The controls veered into his personal life and he lost his girlfriend, who felt like the loser in a takeover battle. Same majority shareholders then exerted input in his future attempts at a romantic merger (he was even set up with a guy at one point). He was still allowing his investors to call the shot when the article ended.
So yeah. Cute? Crazy? I’m leaning towards the latter.