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Netflix director lost millions gambling show's budget on stocks instead of making a new series

Niamh Shackleton

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Netflix director lost millions gambling show's budget on stocks instead of making a new series

Featured Image Credit: John Sciulli/Nikos Pekiaridis/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Director Carl Rinsch hit the big time when he signed a deal with Netflix.

Back in 2018, when streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime were scrambling to find content to keep up with the demand from customers, Rinsch pitched the rights to a sci-fi series that he'd started a script for.

Initially Amazon bagged an informal deal with the hardly-known director for an eight-figure sum but, before any papers could be signed, Netflix swooped in and ended up agreeing a huge $61.2 million deal with Rinsch for the series it later named Conquest.

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The streamer said it would pay the director in several instalments and, by 2020, it had sent Rinsch $44.3 million of the multi-million dollar budget - but he said he needed more.

According to The New York Times, at the time of his request, the director 'had missed several production milestones and was toggling between two versions of the script'.

Netflix then wired Rinsch’s production company $11 million, $10.5 million of which he reportedly transferred to his personal brokerage account.

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He then proceeded to place millions of dollars on risky stock bets, including a wager on the biotech firm Gilead Sciences.

Carl Rinsch was given a multi-million dollar budget from Netflix. Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Team One, Saatchi LA
Carl Rinsch was given a multi-million dollar budget from Netflix. Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Team One, Saatchi LA

Within weeks, Rinsch had lost $5.9 million on unsuccessful stocks.

With the remaining money he'd transferred over, Rinsch moved more than $4 million from his Schwab account to an account on the Kraken exchange, which he then spent on Elon Musk favored Dogecoin.

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But this risk paid off.

When he came to sell off the cryptocurrency in 2021, he had a balance of almost $27 million.

His winnings came after Netflix announced a few months prior that it would no longer be funding Conquest.

At the time he was told that he could sell the series elsewhere, but that whoever bought the rights would have to reimburse Netflix for the millions that it had already invested.

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Rinsch blew nearly $6m of his budget on stocks. Credit: Andrew Brookes/Getty
Rinsch blew nearly $6m of his budget on stocks. Credit: Andrew Brookes/Getty

In the wake of its decision to stop funding his sci-fi show, Rinsch has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the streamer, where he claims that Netflix owes him a minimum of $14 million in damages.

But Netflix has labeled this as a shakedown and has denied that it owes him any more cash.

Addressing its decision to cut ties with Rinsch, Thomas Cherian, a spokesman for Netflix, said that 'after a lot of time and effort, it became clear that Mr. Rinsch was never going to complete the project he agreed to make, and so we wrote the project off'.

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According to The Times, the case had a hearing earlier this month and a ruling is expected soon.

UNILAD has contacted Netflix for further comment.

Topics: Film & TV, News, Netflix, Film and TV, Money, Cryptocurrency

Niamh Shackleton
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