EXCLUSIVE: The meteoric political rise of George Santos and the web of fabulist tales it was build on are getting a movie treatment. HBO Films has has optioned the rights to Mark Chiusano’s new book The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos, which was published November 28, 2023.
The news comes on the heels of Santos’ Washington D.C. career coming to a dramatic end yesterday when he was expelled from Congress for alleged ethics violations, including donor funds spent on racy subscription website OnlyFans and Botox treatments. He has denied the charges and has vowed to fight back.
The film, now in development, is described as a forensic and darkly comic look at the crazy, unprecedented congressional race on Long Island that led to George Santos being elected to Congress. It comes from Frank Rich, who executive produced HBO’s Emmy-winning Washington DC satire Veep as well as the network’s Emmy-winning drama Succession.
Written by Mike Makowsky (HBO’s Bad Education), 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. It follows 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.
Rich and Makowsky executive produce, with Chiusano serving as a consulting producer.
Before he was even sworn into Congress in January, Santos attracted widespread attention as revelations came to light of the fabrications of his resume and background. He already faces criminal charges, with the DOJ having filed an array of additional counts against him last month, including wire fraud and identity theft. He has pleaded not guilty.
Ted Johnson contributed to this report.