It didn’t take long for Hollywood to capitalize on the embarrassment that is FIFA. The soccer (or football, depending on where you live) organization has been widely know to be corrupt for years, but something was actually done about it in May when the FBI arrested top executives as a result of a lengthy investigation. Now THR reports that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are set to produce an adaptation of Ken Bensinger’s book Houses of Deceit, which was just acquired by Warner Bros. The book is being seen as the “definitive account” of American FIFA exec Chuck Blazer’s role in the FIFA scandal.
While one might see this as an opportunity for Affleck to direct, the project already has Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor attached to helm and co-write with his frequent partner Anthony Tambakis. O’Connor recently wrapped shooting on the thriller The Accountant, which stars Affleck, and it appears that their collaboration was a fruitful one.
Blazer moved up the ranks at FIFA to executive committee member and executive VP of the U.S. Soccer Federation, as well as general manager of CONCACAF, and is widely regarded as a central figure in growing the sport’s popularity in the United States. But as with many FIFA executives, Blazer had a reputation for taking bribes, earning the nickname “Mr. Ten Percent” for his bevy of sponsorship and television deals that fueled his expensive lifestyle. When the FBI became involved, he turned informant, and he was named a cooperating witness in May’s arrests.
The book reportedly first grabbed the attention of O’Connor, who then brought it to Affleck, who alley-ooped it to his home studio Warner Bros., resulting in today’s deal. No word on how soon the picture might come to fruition, but WB no doubt wants to capitalize on the increased interest in FIFA so it will likely be sooner rather than later. With talent like Affleck, O’Connor, and Warner Bros. behind this one, there’s no fear of Houses of Deceit turning out like FIFA’s now-infamous attempt at a propaganda movie.