Gizmondo exec's shady story headed for big screen

Saga of Ferrari-crashin' criminal and would-be handheld impresario Bo Stefan Eriksson optioned for feature-film treatment.

Though dominated by the launch of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, the 2005-2006 news cycle also featured one of the most colorful tales to ever emerge out of the game industry. The tale was that of Bo Stefan Eriksson, the alleged member of the "Swedish Mafia" who served as European director of Gizmondo, the ill-fated independent handheld company.

In 2004, Eriksson collected over $2.2 million in salary and bonuses from Gizmondo Europe, which went bankrupt in 2006. However, it was in 2005 that he collected global notoriety for a spectacular 199mph car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway outside Malibu. Not only did Eriksson destroy an irreplaceable $1.1 million Ferrari Enzo, but he also blamed the incident on a mysterious German named "Dietrich," who he claimed fled the scene after driving the totaled car.

Even stranger were Eriksson's attempts to claim he was a member of an antiterrorism force and the appearance of some never-identified men claiming to work for the Department of Homeland Security. Subsequent DUI, smuggling, weapons, and cocaine charges added to the intrigue.

The shadiness surrounding Eriksson's crash and subsequent trial were meticulously detailed in journalist Randall Sullivan's October 2006 Wired article "Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up." Today, the Hollywood Reporter reports that that same article will soon become a feature film, having been optioned by Independent Spirit Award-nominated writer-producer Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound). The film will also touch on Eriksson's mistrial, three-year jail term, 2008 deportation, and rearrest in Sweden last month on suspicion of extortion, theft, and assault.

"He just keeps giving," deadpanned Beau Flynn, who will produce the film with business partner Tripp Vinson under their Contrafilm label. The production house is also currently working on the remake of Red Dawn and the Anna Faris comedy What's Your Number?

"Craig's sense of tone is what really blew me away," Flynn told the Reporter. "Craig has a quality like the Coen brothers. He really has that keen and acute ability to capture what's real but also capture the comedy in what's real."

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13 comments
Chickenesta
Chickenesta

it kills me to see cars smashed up like that, thats why I can't watch James Bond, poor aston martins!

UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

WHY ARE THEY REMAKING RED DAWN?!?!?!?!? that movie sucked almost as bad as the super mario movie...:P

jdiego82
jdiego82

"He just keeps giving." l o l

wwonka666
wwonka666

Dietrich, that's who all drunk drivers should blame from this day forward. What an imagination. If he was in the Swedish Mafia they are really, really dumb for not taking care of this guy Maria style years ago. What they the Mafia of Swedish Meatballs?

Makhdoom82
Makhdoom82

Hmmm maybe he got too much then he deserved. I would never do that to my Enzo :)

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Surely only the inimitable Uwe Boll can do justice to this proposed production!

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

The movie should be good. I hope it becomes an example for other people trying to get involved in the video game industry of how not to run a business.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Lets hope the movie is better than the floppy Gizmondo. 8)

Barighm
Barighm

Hey, that sounds like it could be a good movie. What a strange story.

MirageX13
MirageX13

I hope they stick to the story. You know how game-related movies turn out when they try and stray too far from the source material.