Obamas Set ‘The Fifth Risk’ Adaptation as First Netflix Project

     October 31, 2018


Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have made their first acquisition under their deal to create content for Netflix. Per Deadline, the Obamas have picked up the rights to author Michael Lewis’ latest book The Fifth Risk, which was released on October 2nd and provides an inside look at the inner workings of the U.S. government. The idea is to create a possible series that helps people further understand how the government actually works. More details about the project are set to be revealed on the new episode of Katie Couric‘s podcast this Thursday.

Specifically, The Fifth Risk follows the chaos that erupted at the departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce during the handoff between the Obama administration to the Trump administration. Lewis conducted interviews with a number of federal workers who revealed that those who took over at these departments were woefully under-prepared, and some even threw away the briefing books provided by the Obama administration folks who had previously held the jobs. As a result, this “willful ignorance” caused a breakdown in a governmental system that has widespread and long-lasting effects.

Lewis is no stranger to adaptations of his work. The Blind Side scored a Best Picture nomination, as did Bennett Miller’s terrific adaptation of Moneyball. There’s also a TV series adaptation of Flash Boys in development at Netflix, starting from scratch after Aaron Sorkin attempted a feature film adaptation of that Wall Street tale at Sony a few years ago.

There’s no guarantee The Fifth Risk will actually happen, but the book has been optioned by the Obamas with the intent to develop a potential series adaptation at Netflix. It’s unclear if that would be a narrative series or a docuseries, but either way this is an indication of the kind of content the former First Family intends to make at Netflix. Their stated intention was to further educate and enrich the populace, and who better to produce an inside look at the inner-workings of the federal government than folks who served as President and First Lady for eight years?