Just days after colorful Republican Rep. George Santos was expelled from Congress for ethics violations, HBO has a film telling his story in development, TheWrap has learned. HBO Films has optioned the rights to Mark Chiusano’s book “The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos,” which was released Nov. 28.
The movie will be executive produced by Frank Rich, who worked on both “Veep” and “Succession” and spent decades writing for the New York Times.
The book’s author praised the team behind the adaptation, writing on X (formerly Twitter), “Could not think of a better team for this. Legends
@frankrichny, who has worked on some of my favorite shows, and @mike_makowsky, whose BAD EDUCATION is a perfect Long Island movie.”
The film will take a close look at Santos’ congressional race, utilizing the book, which the book’s publisher describes as a “post-capitalist grifter epic.” It begins on Long Island, where a race for local office laid the groundwork for Santos’ unlikely ascent to Congress in 2022.
HBO did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the project.
Santos was voted out of Congress following a House Ethics Committee report whose findings included that he’d exploited running for the House “for his own personal financial profit,” “deceived donors” and “blatantly stole from his campaign,” including spending donor money on Botox, vacations, his own credit card debt, OnlyFans and an Hermès bag.
According to the book’s official description, it covers “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.”
On the day of the book’s release, Chiusano said that Santos “made it clear” that he would not participate in “The Fabulist,” nor would anyone from his office. However, the author had no problem finding “well over 100” people who were happy to talk about the now-disgraced congressman, from dates to family members and former teachers.
The vote to expel Santos was 311 to 114, with 206 Democrats and 105 Republicans voting to remove him from Congress.
His political troubles began as news that he’d lied about most of his career and made up Jewish ancestry was reported in outlets including the New York Times. Since then, Santos has been accused of a range of lies that include his mother dying on 9/11, as well as being charged with 23 felonies including wire fraud and theft of public funds.
Details on the upcoming film were first reported by Deadline.