As debate rages about the movie based on his life, Jordan Belfort, the subject of Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, has set his sights on reality TV.
Seth Abramovitch of The Hollywood Reporter reported over the weekend that Belfort worked with Chris Grant, whose studio Electus is responsible for the likes of Mob Wives and Fashion Star, to develop a reality TV pitch. Abramovitch explained that what they settled on is an "uplifting show" that features Belfort "stepping in to help others who, like him, have hit rock bottom but still hold out some hope for redemption." Grant, Electus' CEO, told Abramovitch that networks are interested in the project.
The prospect of Belfort being the star of a reality show—and the moral center of one, at that—will only continue to raise eyebrows about how these various forms of entertainment are handling the legacy of a man whose victims are clearly still reeling from his crimes. Filmgoers and critics are arguing as to whether Scorsese's film is an implicit condemnation of Belfort's actions during his wild days with Stratton Oakmont or a glorification of the wild lifestyle Belfort and his compatriots lived. (If you want this writer's opinion see here.) Meanwhile, the pitch for the reality show seems to position Belfort as a man reformed to an extent never really seen in the film. That's sure to irk the investors who fell prey to Belfort's schemes, and some of whom, according to Susan Antilla of the New York Times, are still dealing with the financial loss brought about by Belfort.
Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted news of the reality show with the comment: "Another Wolf of Wall Street development that wouldn't make me happy if I were running the Oscar campaign." Belfort's eagerness to build up his name—even in a manner completely isolated from the film—isn't necessarily a good look on anyone.