mcmillions

When The Daily Beast published an article last summer titled “How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions,” it captured Hollywood’s attention in a big way. We later learned that was by design: the article, which details extreme (and wildly entertaining) levels of fraud surrounding the nationwide Monopoly game that McDonald’s previously participated in, was written with the express purpose of being adapted into a movie.

A film adaptation is still on the table, but now a documentary series called McMillions is already in production at HBO, and one of the Hollywood players who lost out on the film rights is executive producing this multi-part documentary show. Find out who’s involved below.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are teaming up to make a movie about this totally-nuts McDonald’s Monopoly story, but tons of other big names were initially vying for the movie rights, including Martin Scorsese, Kevin Hart, Robert Downey Jr., and more. Mark Wahlberg was one of those contenders, and even though he didn’t end up with the film rights, he apparently liked the story enough that he just had to be a part of telling it one way or another. So he’s executive producing McMillions alongside Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, James Lee Hernandez, and Brian Lazarte. Hernandez and Lazarte, a pair of jack-of-all-trade types with a myriad of editing, directing, writing, and producing credits to their names, will direct the documentary series.

McMillions is described as “a documentary series chronicling the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S.” Here’s what to expect from the show:

MCMILLIONS will draw on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam; McDonald’s corporate executives, who were themselves defrauded; the lawyers who tried the case; and the culprits and prizewinners who profited from the complicated scheme, as well as the individuals who were often unwittingly duped into being a part of the ruse.

“Having been obsessed with the game as children and now developing this story for years, we’re thrilled to partner with Unrealistic Ideas and HBO, who both share our passion for this incredible case,” Hernandez and Lazarte said in a joint statement. “The real story behind the fraud is far more complex and interesting than we ever could have imagined.”

I’m betting the team at Netflix is kicking themselves for missing out on this one. But Netflix’s loss is HBO’s gain, and I can’t wait to dive even deeper into this incredible true story. Production is underway now, but there’s no indication yet about when we might see the finished product or how many episodes the documentary series will consist of.

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