|Dream cast: Zac Efron, Lucy Liu and Christian Bale|
News that Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures has optioned Straight to Hell, the tell-all book by former Citi debt syndicate staffer – and occasional Euromoney contributor – John Lefevre, should not come as a surprise given the box-office success of The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short.
Lefevre’s tales of greed, gratuity and dodgy financial practices was certainly a hell of a good read, but we have a feeling that any movie version will probably focus more on the comedic side of the book than the (very occasional) deeper issues it raises: more ‘Carry on Up the Capital Markets’ than ‘Wall Street Redux’ perhaps. That might count it out as a contender come awards season.
As would the likely presence of Zac Efron in the lead role. Efron, once a teen-heartthrob star of High School Musical and now in a run of bad films (Bad Neighbours and Dirty Grandpa, for example), is slated as a producer on the movie, alongside the aptly named Doug Banker.
Kermit the Frog
Unfortunately, we don’t see a huge amount of resemblance between Efron and Lefevre, who in person looks more like a cross between Kermit the Frog and a young Kevin Costner.
However, at least viewers will be able to make the comparison. In the book, many of the characters who appear are cited under pseudonyms.
But based on Lefevre’s descriptions, and Euromoney’s own hunches as to whom some of the characters in the book are in real life, we think this would make for a good cast list:
Benny, the cowardly DCM coverage banker who delays firing an analyst on a Friday, makes her work through the weekend, and then has a colleague fire her on the Monday: played by Ricky Gervais;
Adam Mitchell, the over-sized, fun loving British trader: Vinnie Jones;
Roo, the backstabbing sales MD who is voted most attractive on the trading floor: Lucy Liu;
Chris Nichols, the British MD who dubbed the hiring of women as the “office beautification project”: Karl Pilkington;
Henry, the senior syndicate banker who trades Birkin bags and hookers for sovereign mandates: Aziz Ansari;
Andy, the trader who has a fondness for racist jokes, and got promoted by taking senior management out for daytime ‘rug-and-tugs’: Casey Affleck;
Wisal Lari, the senior capital markets banker who reads Ferrari brochures during client meetings: Amitabh Bachchan;
Dirty Sanchez, the regional head of sales who is too frequently spotted alone in Wan Chai karaoke bars: Christian Bale (as a method actor, he will need a thick moustache and a horrendous comb-over).
Of course, this dream cast list might never get off the ground; many movies that are optioned never get made.
If it does, let’s hope movie-goers agree with Lefevre’s epilogue to the book: “I remain unapologetic for all that I saw and did.
"I enjoyed the fuck out of it.”