Barack and Michelle Obama acquire rights to adapt book about Trump administration's 'wilful ignorance' for Netflix

The couple has acquired Michael Lewis's book The Fifth Risk, which portrays the Trump administration as 'dangerous fools', to turn it into a possible series

Clémence Michallon
Wednesday 31 October 2018 17:05 GMT
(Getty Images)

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Barack and Michelle Obama could be about to adapt a book about the Trump administration's "willful ignorance" for Netflix.

The couple has acquired the rights to Michael Lewis's The Fifth Risk, which was released earlier this month and chronicles the White House chaos that followed the 2016 presidential election, according to Deadline.

It was revealed in May this year that the former president and first lady had signed a multi-year production deal with the streaming platform. The financial details of the agreement haven't been disclosed, but the arrangement came after the couple signed a joint book deal reported to be worth more than $65m with Penguin Random House.

The Obamas are understood to be considering projects at the moment, Deadline noted, and no official announcement regarding a specific venture has been made yet.

Lewis, a financial journalist, previously wrote The Big Short, a 2010 account of the lead-up to the 2006 United States housing bubble. The book was turned into the 2015 Oscar-winning movie of the same name starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.

The Fifth Risk asks the question: "What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?" and explores the chaotic developments that have affected the Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy departments since the Trump administration took over.

Lewis is expected to announce the optioning of his book by the Obamas on Katie Couric's podcast on Thursday, Deadline reported. The author is quoted as telling Couric that his book and its possible TV adaptation can serve as "a civics lesson".

"I did three departments, because it would be the work of many lifetimes to do the whole government, but you could do this in a fun way across the entire government," he told Couric according to Deadline.

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In addition to The Big Short, Lewis's 2003 book Moneyball about the Oakland Athletics baseball team also had its big screen adaptation. The film, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, went on to earn six Academy Awards nominations following its release in 2011.

The Blind Side, Lewis's 2006 book about American football, was also turned into a movie in 2009. Sandra Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother of former NFL star and current free agent Michael Oher.

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