Ben Affleck to produce FIFA scandal film for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Ben Affleck to Produce Film on FIFA Scandal

The American side of the FIFA scandal is getting the movie treatment with Ben Affleck among those bringing story to the big the screen.

Capping off eight days of negotiations, Warner Bros. has won a bidding war for Houses of Deceit, a book by BuzzFeed investigative reporter Ken Bensinger that is being seen as the definitive account of American FIFA exec Chuck Blazer and his role in the largest sports and public corruption scandal in history.

Gavin O'Connor, who recently wrapped the Affleck thriller The Accountant for the studio, is attached to direct and will co-write the script with Anthony Tambakis. Tambakis worked with O'Connor on the director's 2011 fight drama Warrior as well as Jane Got a Gun, which O'Connor stepped into direct when that Natalie Portman Western lost its original director.

Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman are producing via Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360. Affleck is producing with Matt Damon and their Warners-based Pearl Street Films.

See photos from the scandal:
20 PHOTOS
FIFA raids, controversy
See Gallery
Ben Affleck to produce FIFA scandal film for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)
Swiss attorney General Michael Lauber attends a press conference on June 17, 2015 in Bern. Swiss authorities are investigating the 2010 FIFA vote that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 07: Chuck Blazer Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup talks to the media during the FIFA Club World Cup Organising Committee Press Conference at Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel on December 7, 2011 in Nagoya, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: An FBI agent wearing a mask carries a box from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes and computers from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a packed news conference at the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Eastern District of New York following the early morning arrest of world soccer figures, including officials of FIFA, for racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud on May 27, 2015 in New York City. The morning arrests took place at a hotel where FIFA members were attending a meeting for the world governing body of soccer (football) in Switzerland. The Justice Department unsealed a 47 count indictment early Wednesday charging 14 world soccer figures. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Costa Rican Football Federation acting President Jorge Hidalgo speaks during a press conference on May 27, 2015, in Lindora, 20 km west of San Jose, about the capture of Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li and six executives of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / Ezequiel BECERRA (Photo credit should read EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announces charges against FIFA officials at a news conference on May 27, 2015 in New York. The soccer officials arrested on Wednesday in an investigation into the FIFA governing body have corrupted the international game, Lynch said Wednesday. She spoke after Swiss authorities acting on the US indictments detained several FIFA leaders in a dawn raid in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked the sport's governing body. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio arrives to give a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio gives a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio gives a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A staff waits prior to a press conference at the FIFA heaquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA Director of Communications Walter de Gregorio attends a press conference at the FIFA headquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain top FIFA football officials as part of a US investigation. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
FIFA Director of Communications Walter de Gregorio reacts during a press conference at the FIFA headquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain top FIFA football officials as part of a US investigation. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
A man walks by the headquarters of the international soccer's top body FIFA in Zurich, on May 27, 2015. Swiss police raided the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich, seizing documents and data, the Swiss attorney-general's office said. The raids were part of an investigation already underway into money laundering and fraud involving FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively, a statement said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A cloud is seen above the headquarters of international soccer's top body FIFA, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss policeraided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks by a logo of international soccer's top body FIFA, on May 27, 2015 at the organization's headquarters in Zurich. Swiss policeraided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
Media gathers outside the Hotel Baur-au-Lac where Swiss authorities conducted an early morning operation on May 27, 2015 to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges. FIFA said it was seeking to clarify the situation after six football officials were arrested in Zurich on the request of US authorities, suspected of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars. (Photo credit AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read MoreFIFA Movie Director Breaks Silence on Bomb: "It's a Disaster; My Name Is All Over [This Mess]"

Not all the deals are closed but are expected to be soon.

At the center of Deceit is Blazer, the soccer executive who became perhaps the biggest instrument in the sport's popularity in the United States, taking it from runt status and growing its current stature. He went from an unemployed soccer dad to a FIFA executive committee member and executive vp of the U.S. Soccer Federation as well as general manger of CONCACAF, the soccer governing body for North and Central America.

But the man who looked like Santa Claus was also developing the nickname "Mr. Ten Percent" for his slice of lucrative sponsorship and television deals that allowed him live large (Blazer reportedly had a luxurious apartment in Trump Towers just for his cats) and was slowly slipping into a web of corruption.

His stature as one of soccer's top dogs began to unravel when in the 2010s, allegations of bribery began to surface as well as massive tax evasion. Even as he admitted to conspiring to accept bribes with other FIFA executives, he was also informing for the FBI. And he was also a deemed a cooperating witness in May's arrests of FIFA executives, an event that rocked soccer worldwide and exposed its rotten core.

The book proposal also has several protagonists and tells of how Blazer was slide tackled by two federal agents, one an IRS pencil pusher and then-U.S. attorney, now-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Bensinger was an Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter who raised eyebrows when he left for BuzzFeed, the website better known for its clickbait lists, in early 2014. He proved doubters wrong with one of his first stories, published in June 2014, an exhaustive look at Blazer, titled Mr. Ten Percent: The Man Who Built -; And Bilked -; American Soccer.

The article became the basis for a book proposal that culminated in a deal last week, with Jonathan Karp and Bob Bender at Simon & Shuster beating out seven other suitors.

At the same time as the book deal was going down, Bensinger's literary manager Justin Manask slipped the proposal to Casady and Friedman at 360.

While there was discussion whether the book should be adapted as a television series, a mini-series or a feature, it attracted the attention of O'Connor, who wanted to tackle it as a movie. And having just wrapped production on Accountant, he opened his goalie net for Affleck, who was keen to take it to his home studio, Warners.

As that was happening, interest in the book was heating up around town and a bidding war ensued. Warners prevailed over Broad Green Pictures and Red Wagon, and over Anonymous Content.

Chantal Nong and Cate Adams will oversee for the studio.

O'Connor is repped by WME and Morris Yorn. Tambakis is repped by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein at Gotham. Bensinger is repped by Manask at the Office for Literary Adaptation and Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.


Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL and get the top celebrity, movies, music and TV news delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

A Holocaust Survivor Found These Old Photographs - And Solved A Decades-Old Mystery A Holocaust Survivor Found These Old Photographs - And Solved A Decades-Old Mystery
Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big
Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts