The accounting profession is about to get the Hollywood treatment: Actor William H. Macy is slated to star as a CPA who turned six failing strip clubs into financial jackpots in an upcoming Showtime movie based on a true story.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie is tentatively titled "The Accountant and the Stripper" and will focus on Lew Berman, who took over the Florida strip clubs as a receiver in 1996, just after he retired from the Melbourne, Fla., CPA firm he co-founded. Berman was entrusted with the clubs by the judge who oversaw a legal dispute between the clubs' owner, Michael Peter, and an insurance executive, who alleged that Peter defaulted on a $17 million loan. Peter claims that the insurance executive, Mark Sanford, used the money on an investment that didn't work out.
Berman turned the businesses around. "He brought accounting practices to them. He cleaned up all the graft and the corruption. He made the girls start paying taxes. He treated [the clubs] like a business," the Hollywood Reporter quoted Macy as saying. "He empowered the girls. He instituted child care, employee picnics, employee benefits, and he treated the women that worked there as employees with all the dignity that they deserved, and they ended up loving him for it."
Macy said the movie will also focus on Berman's relationship with his assistant, Abby Cuellar.
"It is about a gay woman, who is somewhat disenfranchised, and Lew Berman, who is like a stranger in a strange land, and they take on the Mafia, and they take on an industry that they knew nothing about," Macy said.
Added director Steven Schachter, "In the most basic scenario, it's a bit of a 'Rocky' story."
"The Accountant and the Stripper" will be co-written by Macy and Schachter, who plan to take a "quasi-real, quasi-fictional" approach. Schachter directed Macy in "Door to Door," which appeared on TNT, and the team took home four Emmys.