You know him and hate him as the loud-mouthed financial superstar portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. Well get ready, gang, because Jordan Belfort is potentially coming to television in a reality show currently getting shopped around the networks. It makes sense, because if anyone could embody the unofficial slogan of the reality TV world, “I’m not here to make friends,” it’s probably Belfort.
While audiences have been enthralled with Belfort’s story told through the Martin Scorsese film (or not), fellow rich guy and Electus CEO Chris Grant read the source material — Belfort’s memoir of the same name — and saw a natural born star in his real-life version. You see, he’s not just the man who scammed investors out of $110 million throughout the 1990s and partied with a guy who probably looked vaguely like Jonah Hill, he’s now a “successful motivational speaker” living and working out of Los Angeles after serving time for his crimes.
Grant, who runs the studio that has brought us such bastions of reality wealth like Fashion Star and Mob Wives, tracked Belfort down in LA; the twosome began working on a pitch together that highlighted Belfort’s “unique set of business skills.” He has a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career.
Because he’s not that Jordan Belfort anymore (seriously, he’s so chill now), the proposed reality show will have the once-wild child of Wall Street serving as a living and breathing cautionary tale of sorts by meeting people who have also hit rock bottom, and then stepping in to help them seek and achieve redemption for their wicked ways.
According to Grant, interest is high from the networks the team has already pitched because nobody can resist the magnetic allure of Belfort’s shining, dazzling personality. He went on to say that “he was described to us after leaving the room as ‘TV gold,'” by network executives. Not sure if you can hear it too, but that whispering in the wind might be Grant asking Belfort “you wanna be a star, kid?” before telling him to put on his biggest smile pre-meeting.
Truth be told, Grant may have a hit on his hands. The fascination with Belfort likely isn’t going to die down anytime soon; since its Christmas Day premiere, The Wolf of Wall Street has earned over $30 million and is still going strong. The show isn’t going to focus on Belfort’s hard-partying, hard-living, shady-dealing ways of his past, so there’s a chance that they might lose out on an audience looking for a replication of what they saw featured in Scorsese’s film. However, if there’s one thing that reality TV audiences appreciate, it’s sort of famous people doing things they weren’t famous for on TV. We’ve accepted Vanilla Ice going Amish; let’s see Jordan Belfort’s motivational tour.