Volkswagen’s emissions scandal isn’t going away anytime soon now that the New York Times journalist Jack Ewing has secured a six-figure book deal with publisher Norton. To make things worse for VW, Hollywood is also getting in on the action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions have acquired the rights to the forthcoming Ewing book that details the worst scandal to ever hit Volkswagen in its 78-year history.
Ewing’s book is expected to dive deep into the German automaker’s clean diesel scandal that has caused havoc to the company’s share prices and led to the resignation of longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn.
At this point, a lot of people have already heard about the VW scandal, which came to light when the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to pull 500,000 of its diesel cars off the road in the U.S. after discovering that the company had intentionally programmed its vehicles with emissions-dodging software. The illegal software kept car’s emissions numbers in line with U.S. regulatory standards during testing, but turned off during normal driving. As a result, these diesel cars were emitting up to 40 times the legal amount of harmful pollutants. Volkswagen later admitted that close to 11 million of its cars were rigged with the cheating software.
The backlash behind the company’s admission of guilt has been staggering. Volkswagen’s shares dropped 40 percent after the news broke and the company is expected to pay up to $18 billion in fines from the EPA. It’s also under investigation in its home country of Germany and there’s a distinct possibility that many of its executives could go to prison. Investigations around the world are also ongoing, so it’s likely more bad news is coming.
The movie deal is the latest black eye to hit Volkswagen. Details of the movie won’t be revealed until after Ewing’s proposed book is published, so at the very least, VW can take comfort knowing that the big screen adaptation of this scandal won’t hit theaters in the foreseeable future. Plus, the story isn’t even over.
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