Filmmaker Carl Rinsch lost $5.9 million on risky investments after a $61.2 million Netflix deal for "Conquest." Now, he's seeking $14 million in damages as Netflix withdraws funding.
When director Carl Rinsch signed a contract with Netflix, he became extremely successful.
Rinsch pitched the rights to a sci-fi series he'd started writing a script for back in 2018 when streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime were struggling to find material to meet user demand.
Amazon first secured an eight-figure informal arrangement with the little-known director, but before any paperwork could be exchanged, Netflix intervened and ultimately reached an enormous $61.2 million agreement with Rinsch for the series that it eventually dubbed Conquest.
By 2020, the streamer had handed Rinsch $44.3 million of the multi-million dollar budget; nevertheless, he claimed he still required more.
The streamer had promised to pay the director in multiple installments.
At the time of his request, the filmmaker "was toggling between two versions of the script and had missed several production milestones," as reported by The New York Times.
Then, Rinsch's production firm received a $11 million wire payment from Netflix, of which $10.5 million was allegedly moved to Rinsch's personal brokerage account.
He then went on to gamble millions of dollars on high-risk stocks, including Gilead Sciences, a biotech company.
Rinsch lost $5.9 million on losing investments in a matter of weeks.
Rinsch used the money he had left over to transfer almost $4 million from his Schwab account to an account on the Kraken exchange.
He then used that money to purchase Dogecoin, which Elon Musk had supported.
However, this gamble paid off.
He had about $27 million in bitcoin when it came time to sell it off in 2021.
Netflix had declared a few months before that it would no longer be financing Conquest, which is when he won.
He was informed at the time that while he might sell the show elsewhere, the buyer of the rights would have to pay Netflix back for the millions it had already invested.
Following its decision to discontinue financing his science fiction series, Rinsch is said to have sued the streamer, alleging that Netflix owes him a minimum of $14 million in damages.
However, Netflix has called this a "shakedown" and refuted any further claims of financial debt.
'After a lot of time and effort, it became evident that Mr. Rinsch was never going to complete the project he pledged to develop, therefore we wrote the project off,' said Thomas Cherian, a spokesman for Netflix, regarding the company's decision to separate from Rinsch.
The Times reports that a decision on the matter is anticipated shortly after a hearing held earlier this month.
As the details of the money disagreement come to light, everyone in the industry is waiting to see how the story unfolds.