Michelle Yeoh to produce film on "crazy rich" Asian

Michelle Yeoh, who acted in Crazy Rich Asians, will now produce a film on Malaysian fugitive businessman Jho Low.
Michelle Yeoh, who acted in Crazy Rich Asians, will now produce a film on Malaysian fugitive businessman Jho Low.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HONG KONG • First, she acted in Crazy Rich Asians.

Now, Michelle Yeoh will play producer for a movie about another "crazy rich" Asian - Malaysian fugitive businessman Jho Low who spent lavishly on parties and toys such as a mega-yacht.

The film is based on the book Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, And The World, an expose on his alleged role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) money-laundering scandal.

The film rights to the book, written by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, were acquired by SK Global's Ivanhoe Pictures, which scored a big hit with Crazy Rich Asians, reported Malaysian newspaper The Star.

Low has been accused by the American authorities of masterminding the theft of billions of dollars from the Malaysian state-owned investment fund 1MDB, with money allegedly diverted to bank accounts in Switzerland, Singapore and the Virgin Islands.

The theft, estimated at US$5 billion (S$6.84 billion), ranks among the biggest cases of fraud in history, the Hollywood Reporter noted.

According to the book, Low and his entourage spent US$85 million in just eight months between October 2009 and June 2010 on diversions such as gambling in Las Vegas and paying Hollywood celebrities to party with them.

Low is believed to be in hiding somewhere in Asia.

Meanwhile, The Star reported that the book has sold out in most bookstores in Malaysia. Wright, who was in Kuala Lumpur for a book signing event, is slated to be back for another engagement next week.

Lawyers for Low had warned bookstores worldwide not to stock the title because they said the contents were likely to be defamatory.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2018, with the headline 'Michelle Yeoh to produce film on "crazy rich" Asian'. Print Edition | Subscribe