‘Billions’ creators will tell story of Uber in a new Showtime series
It's hard to imagine a more perfect marriage of creators and material
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect marriage of creators and material than the one that was announced this past week: Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the co-creators ofBillions, will write and produce a limited series about the rise of ride-sharing company Uber.
The show will be based on Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber, an acclaimed book from earlier this year by New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, which told the story of how founder Travis Kalanick built Uber and was ultimately pushed out of it.
Isaac, who is also an executive producer, himself announced the project on Twitter:
With Billions, which is currently in production on its fifth season, Koppelman and Levien have told convincing and often exciting stories about the high-end financial industry and the prosecutors who seek to put them away. They also co-created Billions with a different New York Times journalist, Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Not only are the Billions showrunners and their team exceptionally skilled at explaining intricate and complicated financial concepts, but they’re able to depict their characters as decadent, amoral douchebags while still keeping the audience interested in them.
For that reason, they seem an ideal choice to tackle the story of Kalanick, who founded Uber in 2009 and helped usher in what’s now known as the gig economy. Uber, running afoul of regulators in various cities, changed the way city dwellers got around, while also decimating the existing taxi industry.
The company grew rapidly throughout the 2010s, but the company was eventually plagued by a series of controversies, including allegations that Kalanick turned a blind eye to rampant sexual harassment, and the viral video in which the CEO berated an Uber driver. He stepped down as CEO of Uber in 2017.
A separate movie, based on a blog post by Uber employee Susan Fowler that exposed the sexual harassment, is also in development.
If the limited series is picked up and is successful, I recommend the creators tackle the WeWork story next.