Doug Ellin, creator of the HBO hit series Entourage, has never been shy about voicing his opinion and he’s making it very clear that, in his eyes, the writers behind the Showtime series Billions, stole his idea.
Ellin brought up Billions during a recent episode of his podcast Hollywood Wayz. Ellin discussed his feelings about the show and its recent season six renewal and that’s when he argued that, as Entourage was wrapping up, he came up with an idea for a hedge-fund-themed show and sought out two friends to help him write it. This is when Ellin claims that they “sold it to HBO”, who ended up “passing on it.” Two years after these events, Ellin met Andrew Ross Sorkin, who expressed his desire to also make a show “set in the hedge fund world.” Ellin says that he set Sorkin up with the two friends he had worked with previously on the series that was passed on by HBO, on the condition that he would get involved later as a producer if the show moved forward. Ellin went on to say that he never heard from them again until one of them informed him that he was “doing a show set in the hedge fund world called Billions” This all transpired years ago but Ellin still feels some type of way about it and he made that very clear:
“This was like kind of as low rent, lowlife s–t as can possibly be done…I want nothing out of this. I want the universe to take care of itself and burn them in f—ing hell.”
Despite his strong take on the matter, Ellin refused to name names during the chat but he did drop a major hint by claiming those involved also wrote 1998’s Rounders, which starred Matt Damon and Edward Norton. If this is indeed true, Ellin could be referring to Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The duo is credited as writers’ on Rounders and as two of the three co-creators of Billions alongside Andrew Ross Sorkin. One dropped hint, a quick reference check on IMDB, and it looks like we have an answer, although none of this has been officially confirmed and the parties involved have not commented on Ellin’s recent claims.
Billions tells the story of hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), as he accumulates wealth and power in the world of high finance. Axelrod’s aggressive tactics to secure high returns frequently crosses over into illegal acts that United States Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) attempts to prosecute.
Do YOU think the show Billions was stolen from Doug Ellin?