Jennifer Lawrence Signs On to Play Elizabeth Holmes in Movie About Embattled Theranos

Published: Jun 13, 2016

Jennifer Lawrence Signs On to Play Elizabeth Holmes in Movie About Embattled Theranos June 10, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

LOS ANGELES – The story of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the now embattled blood-testing company, Theranos, at the age of 19, is set to go mainstream with a Hollywood biopic starring Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence, who won the academy award for best actress in the 2012 film, "Silver Linings Playbook," is set to star as Holmes in a planned film about the rise and fall of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Theranos, Deadline Hollywood reported Thursday. The planned film is the project of writer/ director Adam McKay, best known for his “The Big Short” script, which won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay earlier this year.

There is no information as to when the film project would begin, or if a script has been completed. BioSpace reached out to Brooke Buchanan, vice president of communications at Theranos, to see if the company intended to work with Lawrence and the filmmakers, but as of press time has not yet heard. BioSpace will update the story when we know more along those lines.

Holmes, now 32, was the youngest female billionaire in the United States, however, there have been some questions as to what her current net worth is now, after the beleaguered Theranos has faced such intense scrutiny over the efficacy of its proprietary blood-testing product. At one point, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, with Holmes deriving her net worth from shares of stock. However, Forbes recently valued the company at less than $1 billion, closer to $800 million.

Besides her entrepreneurial vision that made her and her company a darling of Silicon Valley investors, Holmes is known for wearing an all-black ensemble of slacks and a turtleneck, much like the now deceased Apple visionary Steve Jobs, in order to have people focus on her and what she was saying about her product rather than what she was wearing.

For the past nine months, Holmes and Theranos have been under intense scrutiny over the efficacy of the blood testing product, particularly after the company voided two years’ worth of data sent to customers.

Although Theranos said that data only amounted to about 1 percent of blood tests, there were reportedly tens of thousands of corrected results sent to patients and doctors. So far there have been a few lawsuits filed against the company from customers who relied on the tests for health treatments. Buchanan told BioSpace last month that the lawsuits were without merit and the company “will vigorously defend itself against these claims.”

In addition to dissatisfied patients, the company is also facing other legal problems. In April, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into the company, with investigations centering on whether or not Theranos and its executives misled investors as to the efficacy of its blood-testing products. News of a criminal investigation comes less than a week after reports revealed that Holmes could face a possible federally-mandated two-year suspension from the blood testing industry over failures to address deficiencies at lab facilities in California raised by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In a lightly redacted 45-page letter dated March 18 over those concerns, the CMMS repeatedly used the bold-texted phrase “The laboratory’s allegation of compliance is not credible and the evidence of correction is not acceptable.” The phrase is used to indicate how Theranos’ addressing of issues that fail to meet federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines.

This is not the first time Lawrence has portrayed an entrepreneur. In 2015, Lawrence portrayed Joy Mangano, the self-made millionaire and designer of the self-wringing Miracle Mop.

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