The media frenzy on the so-called “Reddit Rally” is almost as wild as the stock market gyrations that have gripped Gamestop and AMC over the past two weeks.
So far, at least two book deals and three movies deals are in the works.
Sources tell Media Ink that Harper Collins’ Dey imprint has signed the New York Times’s Nathaniel Popper to a deal for a book about the epic short squeeze that got engineered by members of the “WallStreetBets” forum on Reddit, some of whom are now facing regulatory scrutiny.
Popper, who covers tech out of San Francisco for the Gray Lady, is the author of “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money,” also published by Harper Collins.
It’s the second deal in less than a week as publishers gamble that the Wall Street frenzy will still rivet readers months down the road when the books begin hitting shelves.
Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Books, signed the first book deal late last week when it revealed it made a preemptive bid to snag Ben Mezrich’s proposed book entitled “The Unsocial Network.”
Even before he had a publisher, Mezrich had sold the movie rights to MGM. His earlier 2009 bestselling book, “The Accidental Billionaire,” became the basis for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s movie about Facebook, “The Social Network,” which starred Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg and won three Academy Awards. The fix may have been in since the producer of that 2010 movie was Michael Deluca, who today happens to be the chairman of MGM.
There will be plenty of competition on the movie front with at least three in the works. The Wall Street Journal on Monday said it was teaming with Propagate to produce a feature documentary, “This Is Not Financial Advice,” which will directed by Hannah Olson, director of HBO’s “Baby God.”
The documentary will “plunge deep into the recent stock market chaos that started with GameStop and has revealed a major power shift on Wall Street,” according to the announcement from the WSJ Studios. “It will explore the emergence of a new subculture with roots of distrust in traditional financial institutions and their regulators.”
WSJ reporters Gunjan Banerji and Julia-Ambra Verlaine, who are shopping their own book proposal on the frenzied trades, will be participating in the documentary, a WSJ spokesman confirmed.
The Wall Street Journal and Harper Collins are owned by News Corp. which also owns the Post.
The other proposal circulating is by Bloomberg editor Brandon Kochkodin. Sources say the 30-page proposal went out to about a dozen imprints last week.
Also on the movie front, Jaime Rogozinski, the founder of the web site WallStreetBets which played a big role in stoking the trading frenzy, has sold his life story to director Brett Ratner’s film production company Rat Pac, which reportedly paid a low six-figure advance for rights to his story.