Yes, We Really Are Getting a George Santos Movie
*Cue 'Veep' music*
It’s barely been a year since George Santos was elected to Congress, and only a few days since he was expelled from that position by his colleagues. But the massive amount of drama he unleashed in his wake means there is already a movie underway about the self-proclaimed “icon” and his whirlwind foray into politics.
Isn’t this a little soon?
My first reaction to hearing this news was to think this was happening way too soon, and that such a rush was a sure sign of inevitably trashy quality.
Then I heard that the film was being produced for HBO Films by Frank Rich, who brought us the incredible hits Veep and Succession. It’s being written by Mike Makowsky, who is no stranger to fantastically dramatic Long Island-based political stories. He wrote the twistedly funny 2019 movie Bad Education, about a wild case of massive embezzlement in the public school system.
Suddenly I’m feeling much more optimistic, and even excited, about this film.
What will the movie actually be about?
According to Deadline, HBO Films has optioned the rights to a book by Mark Chiusano titled The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos. That book had the fortuitous publication date of November 28, 2023—just three days before Santos was expelled from Congress.
Deadline writes that the film tells “the story of a seemingly minor local race that wound up a battle for the soul of Long Island, and unexpectedly carved the path for the world’s most famous (and now disgraced) congressman. The Gatsby-esque journey of a man from nowhere who exploited the system, waged war on truth and swindled one of the wealthiest districts in the country to achieve his American Dream.”
The official description of Chiusano’s book puts Santos in the same camp as notorious scammers Anna Delvey and Elizabeth Holmes. Publisher Simon & Schuster’s website reads:
Newsday alum and PEN/Hemingway honoree Mark Chiusano tells the full (well, as full as can be given the subject) story of Santos here for the first time. From humble years spent in Brazil, to glamorous nights on the west side of Manhattan, to the stunning small-time scams employed to ease his slippery climb up the American society ladder, The Fabulist tells a story you’ll have to read for yourself to believe…and even then, it’s George Santos, so who’s to say for sure.
Combining the very best of boots-on-the-ground journalism, dishy backroom dealings, and glittery details about Gold Coast mansions and bodice-baring drag shows that’d feel just as at home in your next summer beach read, The Fabulist is truly stranger than fiction.
A review blurb on the publisher’s site says the book will appeal to both “political junkies and voyeurs,” which definitely lends itself to that Veep tone that would be such a good fit.
But I want it now
OK, I’m officially on board with this movie. I’ve done a complete 180 from my initial reaction and I would like to be watching it right now, please.
Unfortunately, there’s no release date or even general timeline for the film yet. Deadline describes the movie as “in production” and Variety describes it as “in the works,” but those terms could mean basically anything.
We know HBO Films has optioned the rights to Chiusano’s book (and it sounds like there might already be a script). Here’s hoping HBO doesn’t sit on those rights, as is so often the case. Let’s fast-track this one, people!
(featured image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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