In record-breaking news, the hit hedge-fund drama Billions is based on a stolen (and an original) idea by Doug Ellin, the creator of Entourage.
He appeared on the latest Hollywood Wayz podcast episode and made sure to tell the world, with explicit terms, that the drama was his original idea.
The American screenwriter Doug Ellin started October 7’s Hollywood Wayz podcast advising young writers – “You have to protect yourself in this business.”
Explaining what it meant further, he and the co-host, Bre-Z, discuss how easy it is for someone to steal your idea and make their stuff, especially when it comes from enthusiastic people who haven’t protected their ideas.
He went on to reveal that the world Billions is based on was actually his idea. He said he wanted to produce a show and “came up with this idea, I wanted to do a show of hedge-funds.”
He joined hands with his Rounders movie writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, created the show, and sold it to HBO, which ultimately passed it on.
However, he states two years later, the writers and Andrew Ross Sorkin did him bad by making Billions and cutting him off.
A friend brought in Sorkin, who shared he wanted to do a hedge-fund-based show. Ellin then said,
You know what? I had these guys who wrote me a good script a couple of years ago, and maybe I put you with them, and we turn that half-hour show we had into an hour.Ellin to Sorkin
He put the two writers and Sorkin together and checked up if things went ahead or not. Years later, he was called by one of the writers on his podcast. In that podcast, the friend writer revealed he was working on Billions, which surprised Ellin.
And he told me he’s doing a show set in the hedge fund world called billions and you can hear my voice in the podcast going ‘Huh’? And it didn’t even register to me for a couple of hourssic
He also cleared the air by saying he doesn’t want anything to do with the show and isn’t accusing them of plagiarism.
He “didn’t write a single word” for any of the scripts, but at the end of the day, it was his “idea that got them paid to write a show set in hedge-funds” and to connect the trio.
He ended the topic with:
I want nothing out of this. I want the universe to take care of itself and burn them in f**king hell.
But let’s not forget all of this stemmed from his advice that people out there should know to not give their ideas or scripts away to anyone without any protection.
Billions is an American drama created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The series is set in financial centres based in America.
The series follows hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), as he accumulates wealth and power in the world of high finance. The series premiered on Showtime on January 17, 2016.