The first thing you notice about controversial CEO Nicholas Farren is how much he resembles both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, two of our nation’s most bankable Hollywood stars who would surely jump at the chance to portray a complex figure like Farren in a bid for an Oscar. The second thing you notice is how his life story almost perfectly conforms to a conventional three-act structure of setup, confrontation, and resolution, but not to the point where a visionary director like Martin Scorsese or Damien Chazelle would have no room to get creative and mess around a little.
“You know, it’s funny,” Farren said, preparing to utter yet another of his trademark pithy witticisms that could easily make one of those “Best Movie Quotes of the Year” lists. “I’ve been building companies since I was 11 years old. But the one project I feel like I still haven’t finished building is myself.”
To some people, Farren is a hero for revolutionizing the way companies do business across the globe. To other people, he is a villain for committing all those murders. Really, the only thing this country can seem to agree on is that it loves talking about him, meaning a movie about his life based largely on this profile would not pose any risk of oversaturating the market with too much Farren-based content and would almost certainly do well at the box office.
Seriously, the public can’t get enough of this guy. The only issues of our magazine that make money anymore are the ones with him on the cover.
I visited Farren four times over the past six months while reporting this piece at locations that any decent set designer would love to construct: his mansion in Miami, his mansion in Los Angeles, his mansion in Paris, and his mansion in London. And, honestly, they all looked really similar, so if a studio was looking to make this movie on the cheap or anything, we could probably just build one set and use it for all four places.
As I spent more and more time writing about Farren, one thing above all stood out to me: no matter how well-written this article ended up being or how hard I worked on it, it would still be much more lucrative for me and dramatically increase my chances of getting to meet Jennifer Lawrence if it ended up getting turned into a movie. I mean, do people even read long-form magazine articles like this anymore? Because the rate I’m getting paid for writing it sure makes it seem like they don’t.
And, look, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a movie script, right? I could see it working as a television series as well, kind of like how that old article in New York magazine eventually turned into Taxi. Whatever, just get this some kind of treatment so that my strategy of using journalism as a launching pad to Hollywood fame and fortune can finally start paying off.
Anyway, one of the most charming things about Farren is how he can make just about anyone he talks to feel like the world’s most important person, even a fairly jaded reporter who by all rights should be making bank as an executive producer based in Bel Air by now. And after four lengthy conversations with the man, I began to realize something: Maybe I too am very important, to the point where I should be a key character in the screenplay adaptation of this piece as well! I have always been told I look like Michael Cera, after all.
“You know, it’s funny,” I said, preparing to utter yet another of my trademark pithy witticisms that will definitely make one of those “Best Movie Quotes of the Year” lists and be ranked way higher than any of the crap Farren said. “I’ve been hoping to get one of my articles turned into a screenplay since I was 11 years old, and I never realized until now that the main problem with my previous attempts was simple: they just didn’t include enough of me.”