Netflix is getting a new evil villain movie. Unfortunately, this one is based on a true story, that of Wu-Tang Clan’s one-off album being purchased by 2015’s most-hated man on the internet Martin Shkreli.
According to Collider, Paul Downs Colaizzo (Brittany Runs a Marathon) will direct Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for Netflix. The film will tell the story of smug pharma bro Shkreli’s purchase of the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album and what happened to that album after Shkreli was convicted of fraud and online harassment.
For those just tuning in, way back in 2014, Wu-Tang Clan pressed a single two-CD copy of the album, which was recorded in secret over six years. The idea was to sell the album to a single high bidder. Fans organized an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to save the album from exclusivity, but Shkreli managed to purchase the CDs for $2 million.
When the world learned that the mystery buyer was none other than the crook who jacked the price of a life-saving AIDS drug from $13.50 to $700 per pill, there was some understandable outrage. It didn’t help that Shkreli admitted he hadn’t even listened to the album. A couple years later, Shkreli tried to auction Once Upon a Time in Shaolin on eBay, but by that point his legal problems were catching up with him and the sale didn’t go through.
In 2016, Shkreli streamed the intro to the album after President Trump won the election. In 2017, he was ordered to jail over online harassment, and in 2018, a federal court seized the album.
Now, all of this will be told via Netflix. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (who attempted to buy the album back but wasn’t able to due to the terms of the sale) is set to produce alongside Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company. We don’t know when the movie will be ready, but we can expect delays due to COVID-19.