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Rogue without a cause

Nick Leeson, the man behind the Barings disaster, is still attracting controversy despite his sojourn at Tanah Merah jail, Singapore. Two rival films on the bank's downfall are set to hit the public some time in 1998, one a BBC drama, the other a feature film based on Leeson's book, Rogue Trader.

James Dearden, scriptwriter of the steamy thriller Fatal Attraction, is writing and directing the feature film, and has also met Leeson to hear his side of the story. Dearden's expert opinion is that Leeson did not set out to defraud the bank. He has been quoted as saying, "I believe in the cock-up theory."

More evidence that the film may be pro-Leeson is the choice of actor to play him. Euan McGregor, showbiz celebrity and star of UK cult filmTrainspotting, is primed for the part. McGregor's agent sees the role as a "challenge," considering that McGregor will be playing "someone who isn't a hero". Since the film is based on his book, Leeson stands to make a profit if it's a hit, although with a budget of only £10.5 million ($6.25 million) his share is bound to be small.

The BBC film, entitled Breaking the Bank and intended for television only, will be a less glamorous affair.

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