Since Netflix missed filming its own Tiger King documentary, the player won’t make the same mistake twice. After Tinder Swindler has had another hit, it has been reported that Netflix is now developing a movie based on the same theme. The documentary Felicity Morris told the story of Simon Leviev, a fraudster who used Tinder to defraud women for millions of dollars.
Netflix is in talks with producers to dramatize Leviev’s crimes, sources told Variety on February 4. Sources said the talks are in their early stages as Netflix decides what the tone of a film about Leviev should be. Netflix has not commented on the report.
Tinder Swindler debuted on Netflix on February 2 and quickly climbed into the top ten in the US and UK. The documentary is produced by Raw TV, the same team behind Three Identical Strangers and Don’t F*** directed by Morris. With Cats, AGC Studios and Gaspin Media. Bernadette Higgins was the producer of The Tinder Swindler, along with executive producers Bart Leighton and Sam Starbuck on Raw TV. Jeff Gaspin and Eric Levy for Gaspin Media; and Stuart Ford and Lord Diaz for AGC Studios.
Tinder Swindler is about Leviev, who was born Shimon Hayut but legally changed his name to convince people that he was related to billionaire diamond mogul Lev Leviev. After escaping fraud charges in his native Israel, he traveled to Europe and used Tinder to connect with women. He tricked them into lending him money, but he never repaid them.
Leviev essentially ran a Ponzi scheme, using the money he stole from one victim to buy lavish gifts for his next victim. He also convinced his victims that he had been attacked by “enemies” but that he had a bodyguard who would save him. He claimed a security breach prevented him from using his bank accounts, so he convinced his victims to take out loans and get new credit cards to help. He pretended to pay his victims with false documents, but never actually paid them before he stopped communicating with them. Leviev was sentenced to 15 months in prison in Israel in December 2019, but only served five months and is now out of prison.
Netflix’s rush to start developing drama for the Tinder Swindler story may be due to its inability to make its own Tiger King series. Instead, his Peacock rival Joe vs. Carol stars Kate McKinnon as Carol Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. Opens March 3. Netflix attempted to milk Tiger King by releasing two follow-up seasons, Tiger King 2 and Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story, but neither was as successful as the original 2020 season.