Jennifer Lawrence has earned a few Oscar nominations and one win for playing a variety of strong female characters while Adam McKay recently earned his first Oscar win for his screenplay for The Big Short, a well-explained evisceration of the housing market collapse and its financial implications. So Lawrence and McKay’s collaboration on a medical drama inspired by a wildly successful startup company, its ongoing legal and financial battles, and its controversial young, female CEO is a match made in movie-making heaven.
As Deadline reports, Lawrence is now attached to McKay’s take on medical startup Theranos and its founder, 32-year-old CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. It’s the story of the rise of a blood-testing company that was once valued at $9 billion by Silicon Valley investors in 2014, with Holmes’ own net worth half of that due to her 50% stake in the company, and the fall of both the company and Holmes due to a current investigation into inaccurate test results. It’s a wild financial ride that led Forbes to revising its own valuation of Holmes in the recent article “From $4.5 Billion to $0.”
Though this investigation is still unfolding, its financial effects are already being felt by Holmes and Theranos’ shareholders since the company’s value plummeted once word of the deeper look into their practices went public. Holmes’ cachet was based on Theranos’ claims of being able to test blood with only a pinprick rather than traditional blood draws, a revolutionary change in the practice that would have proven incredibly lucrative and beneficial to healthcare workers, investors, and patients alike. But after reports of inaccurate test results and significant problems at its main California lab, Theranos and Holmes may be banned from practicing for two years.
McKay and Lawrence are a perfect team to tackle this ongoing drama: McKay has a way of presenting complex material in a simplistic yet entertaining fashion while Lawrence is more than capable of portraying Holmes, a Stanford dropout who founded the medical company at the age of 19. While Holmes’ promises, and the millions of dollars raised on them, are unraveling by the day, she and her company are emphatically defending themselves in light of the investigation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the SEC and the Justice Department. There’s plenty here for McKay and Lawrence to sink their teeth into and it’s possible that the craziest twists to the story are yet to come, especially since Theranos, in spite of all of its problems, is still currently valued at $800 million.