Warner Bros has won the right to adapt Houses of Deceit, a book by Buzzfeed investigative reporter, Ken Bensinger. The book is been seen by many as a definitive account of American FIFA Executive, Chuck Blazer and his role in the recent and now infamous bribery and corruption scandal that has rocked the world football’s governing body.
To help it bring the movie to fruition, Warner Bros has contracted Ben Affleck along with Matt Damon, Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman to produce the movie, while Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant) will direct the movie.
Houses of Deceit is based on one of the first articles Bensinger wrote after famously crossing over from the LA Times to Buzzfeed in early 2014. The article which took an exhaustive look at Blazer, was titled Mr. Ten Percent: The Man Who Built — And Bilked — American Soccer.
Chuck Blazer, the soccer executive is perhaps the biggest instrument in football’s popularity in the United States, taking it from a virtually unknown sport and growing it to its current stature. He went from an unemployed soccer dad to a FIFA executive committee member and executive vp of the U.S. Soccer Federation as well as general manger of CONCACAF, the soccer governing body for North and Central America.
But the man who looked like Santa Claus was also developing the nickname “Mr. Ten Percent” for his slice of lucrative sponsorship and television deals that allowed him live large (Blazer reportedly had a luxurious apartment in Trump Towers just for his cats) and was slowly slipping into a web of corruption.
His stature as one of soccer’s top dogs began to unravel when in the 2010s, allegations of bribery began to surface as well as massive tax evasion. Even as he admitted to conspiring to accept bribes with other FIFA executives, he was also informing for the FBI. And he was also a deemed a cooperating witness in May’s arrests of FIFA executives, an event that rocked soccer worldwide and exposed its rotten core.
I’ll love to see this movie, but the recent failures of movies centered on FIFA or football as a whole have been disasters, so I’m not putting too much hope in this one either.