Real life mirrors the movie in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ scandal
On occasion, the imaginations of Hollywood’s finest evoke more than box-office hits and household lines like “Beam me up, Scotty” or “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Sometimes, the plots of blockbuster films have the power to come to life with or without the director’s say.
The latest déjà vu comes at the heels of one of the year’s most controversial movies, which makes it all the more enticing. “The Wolf of Wall Street” was reportedly financed with embezzled money.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the $100 million funding of Martin Scorcese’s latest hit is being investigated in Los Angeles. Oddly enough, the upcoming “Dumb & Dumber” sequel is the cause of it.
“Dumb and Dumber To,” set to release on Nov. 14, will have Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprising their roles as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne.
The producers of the 1994 version, Brad Krevoy and Steve Stabler, are suing Red Granite Pictures for their exclusion from the new project. Red Granite’s co-founders, Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, are also accused of racketeering.
According to Krevoy and Stabler’s complaint, “Red Granite is funded with monies that include proceeds from offenses against a foreign nation that involve bribery of public officials, or misappropriation, theft or embezzlement of public funds by a public official.”
Riza Aziz happens to be the stepson of Malaysian prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, and the “foreign nations” they refer to are verified by Aziz’s earlier statement to the Hollywood Reporter that Red Granite has “a group of investors, mainly from the Middle East and Asia.”
“Given they have no facts … there is simply nothing to theses naked allegations,” a representative for the company said.
This isn’t the first time a movie’s plot mirrored reality or vice versa. Besides the obvious actors and actresses whose roles carried into their love lives, several events have occurred that sound strangely familiar.
For example, 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” foreshadowed the win-of-a-lifetime for Sushil Kumar, who was dubbed “the real slumdog millionaire.” In 2011, Kumar, from Bihar, India, went on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and became the first in the show’s history to take home 50 million rupees.
Also, 2006’s “Snakes on a Plane” left the faint-of-heart, well, faint. The premise, unfortunately, didn’t end with the credits. The world was stunned when Czech national Karel Abelovksy attempted to smuggle 247 animals onto a plane. X-ray technicians at Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires stopped Abelovsky from boarding a flight for Madrid upon the discovery of over 200 reptiles, nine of which were poisonous snakes, inside his bag.
As for Krevoy and Stabler, the producers are standing by their claims of corruption, insisting Red Granite has “engaged in multiple financial transactions within the United States, including financing of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and then separately financing ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ … with knowledge that the transactions were designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of the illegal activity.”
The charges only kick up more press for “The Wolf of Wall Street” since the defamation lawsuit filed last month by Andrew Greene, who claims to be the inspiration for the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff and is not too pleased about it. Paramount Pictures is hoping to end the dispute, asking a New York federal judge to dismiss Green’s case because the character was not “of and concerning” Greene.
Moral of the story: be careful what is filmed. You never know what may happen as a result, or who may be inspired by the creativity. Although I would not be opposed to a real-life Batman, considering the latest adaptation is underway.
UH could benefit from a cape-adorned savior during finals week to keep up Cougar morale. But then again, that’s what Shasta’s for.
Opinion columnist Alex Meyer is a creative writing freshman and may be reached at [email protected]