New FTX documentary to spotlight SBF-CZ relationship

The documentary will examine the dynamic relationship between Sam Bankman-Fried and Binance founder Changpeng Zhao.

The FTX saga and the developments that led to the crypto exchange’s collapse will be framed in a new documentary focusing on the volatile relationship between Sam Bankman-Fried and one of his fiercest critics, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production is a partnership between media outlet Fortune and Unrealistic Ideas, a non-scripted production company co-founded by American actor Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Archie Gips.

“The tumultuous relationship between SBF and CZ has played out to a certain extent in articles and on Twitter, but this definitive documentary will give people a 360-degree personal look at the entire FTX saga,” Fortune editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell said in a statement shared with Cointelegraph.

The documentary will focus on how Bankman-Fried, born into a prominent academic family with political connections, and Zhao, whose family fled from China to Canada when he was 12, came to be two of the most relevant figures in the crypto space, and how their relationship alternated between being allies and rivals.

For a brief recap, Zhao was at the epicenter of FTX’s dramatic collapse. At the beginning of November, the Binance CEO publicly disclosed plans to liquidate the company’s entire position in FTX’s native token, FTT (FTT).

Related: FTX debtors seek subpoenas for inner circle of Sam Bankman-Fried

According to CZ, the decision reflected “post-exit risk management” due to “recent revelations” around FTX. At the time, he also argued that Binance “won’t support people who lobby against other industry players behind their backs.” 

FTX experienced a massive bank run as a result of CZ’s comments. Zhao’s move was crucial to further investigations regarding FTX’s management of funds with its sister company, Alameda Research.

Another noteworthy moment in the relationship between the crypto entrepreneurs came to light on Dec. 14. In a hearing before a United States Senate committee, investor Kevin O’Leary provided details about conversations with Bankman-Fried in the days before FTX filed for bankruptcy.

O’Leary said at the hearing that “these two [SBF and CZ] in an unregulated market […] with this incredible business in terms of growth were at war with each other, and one put the other out of business, intentionally.”

The rise and fall of Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire are the topics of several film projects. As reported by Cointelegraph, Amazon’s video streaming service Prime is producing an eight-episode limited series about the scandals behind the crypto exchange. Also, author and financial journalist Michael Lewis, known for his book The Big Short, had spent six months with Bankman-Fried before FTX’s implosion for a forthcoming book and has reportedly sold the film rights to Apple.

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