Peter Chiarelli to Pen Fat Leonard U.S. Navy Scandal Series


SK Global and journalism content studio Project Brazen have signed Peter Chiarelli (Crazy Rich Asians) to write a television adaptation of the Fat Leonard U.S. Navy scandal.

Chiarelli’s script will be based on Project Brazen’s Fat Leonard podcast, which featured corrupt military contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, who spoke for the first time about stealing tens of millions of dollars through deals with the U.S. Navy in exchange for cash bribes, escorts and luxury items. In addition to Crazy Rich Asians, Chiarelli’s writing credits include Now You See Me 2, The Proposal and Eagle Eye.

The adaptation marks the first television co-production for Project Brazen, founded by best-selling authors and Pulitzer finalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope. It will follow an actively developing story, with the podcast playing a major part in the current trials of five Navy officers involved with Francis.

In a joint statement, SK Global co-CEOs John Penotti and Charlie Corwin and President of Television Marcy Ross said: “Like story divining rods, our friends Tom and Bradley have uncovered yet another thrilling true story—a tale of epic international intrigue that is decidedly stranger than fiction! Building on our adaptation of their best-selling book Billion Dollar Whale, the SK Global team could not be more excited to work here with Project Brazen on their first co-production.”

Project Brazens’ Wright and Hope added: “We’re thrilled Pete’s bringing his trademark wit to the Fat Leonard story, an absurd tale of military adventurism and misogyny that could only have occurred in the crazy period after 9/11. This TV series is at the heart of Project Brazen’s mission to deliver unbelievable true stories to the widest audience.”

Chiarelli commented: “Fat Leonard was a world-class conman who stole from the U.S. Navy for more than a decade. He thought he was untouchable and above the law. I’m thrilled to tell the story of the small group of brave men and women who managed to con this conman and expose his nasty conspiracy.”