Lionsgate Developing Series on Shohei Ohtani Interpreter Scandal


Lionsgate Television has begun developing a scripted series based on the gambling scandal surrounding LA Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter.

The reserved baseball pitcher began a ten-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers—the biggest contract in American sports team history—in December 2023. Several months later and only one day into the 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, news broke that Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, allegedly stole $16 million from the player to pay off gambling debts.

The Dodgers fired Mizuhara after the allegations came to light, and he later turned himself in to federal authorities. Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and MLB are ongoing.

Thirteen-time Tony Award winner Scott Delman and award-winning writer, author and producer Albert Chen are attached to produce the series. Delman’s past TV credits include Station 11, while his Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon, Death of a Salesman, Raisin in the Sun and many more. Chen wrote the sports gambling book Billion Dollar Fantasy and was the co-creator, co-host and producer of the All American podcast. He also served as senior editor at Sports Illustrated and has been a contributor for MLB Network.

“With a strong track record of creating daring, boundary-pushing series, Lionsgate Television is the perfect partner to bring this unbelievable story to the screen,” Delman said. “In addition, Albert’s extensive sports journalism background will enable us to connect the dots to make sense of the startling turn of events we’ve seen play out on the world stage.”

“This is Major League Baseball’s biggest sports gambling scandal since Pete Rose—and at its center is its biggest star, one that MLB has hitched its wagon on,” Chen added. “We’ll get to the heart of the story—a story of trust, betrayal and the trappings of wealth and fame.”