Malus by Steven Faulkner | Script Revolution


Why tell the truth when a lie will do.



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A manuscript by Steven Faulkner

To prevent casino style risk-taking blamed by many for the 2008 Financial Crash, the U.S and European regulators capped the bonuses of investment banks and brokers. Charles Scibberas (Scibby) a down on his luck day-trader reluctantly agrees to join a bond trading syndicate codenamed “Utreco” designed to evade these constraints. Utreco is run by Scibby’s capricious stepbrother Harvey Fallon at Inter Dealer Brokers in London, masterminded by Harvey’s wife Elze, an ex-bond trading supremo nicknamed “The Puff Adder” enabled by their psychopathic colleague Noah Shapiro (No Sho), a market maker on Wall Street and Karl Widdeman an effeminate fund manager in Switzerland with links to the Russian mafia. Scibby’s private life is also in turmoil. Those closest to him constantly demand money, his grasping ex-wife, Sophie, and Caspara, his spend-thrift second wife, a waitress whom he married on impulse to save her from deportation.

Utreco generates huge returns and through Scibby record fees for Mirin Bank, Switzerland. Mirin Bank’s newly appointed Head Trader Hubertus Hecht is keen to impress and unaware of the existence of the Utreco syndicate attempts to replicate Scibby’s trades but loses millions, washing the losses through Mirin’s private banking subsidiary and back to their discretionary clients. Scibby’s trading activity also comes under scrutiny from Mirin Bank’s Risk and Compliance Department, unaware that their own Head Trader is dealing in the same securities. Then following the sudden death of Harvey’s son from a heroin overdose, Harvey suffers chronic depression and is unable to work. Meanwhile, No Sho needs increasingly large sums of money to complete his palatial sea-side mansion that is way overdue and over budget and Widdeman becoming aware of the syndicate’s phenomenal success demands a bigger cut. With Scibby under investigation and with Harvey, No Sho and Widdeman demanding a bigger share of the take, Scibby sees the writing on the wall, and with mounting financial pressures of his own, takes a desperate gamble with syndicate’s money and loses everything.

Unable to repay the syndicate or to go the authorities for fear of tipping them off, Scibby is forced into hiding in fear of his life. Learning of Scibby’s situation his stepmother Teresa-Jane, a nurse at the Royal Marden Hospital in London, reminds him of a speculative investment he made years before, the co-ordinates of which he had sent her for safekeeping. Together with the help of an ex-Lehman Brothers currency trader that she nursed back to health following cancer surgery, she grows the investment in Bitcoin to several million dollars. This allows Scibby to revenge those that have sought to harm him. Whilst hosting a lavish reception at their magnificent London home, Harvey and Elze are arrested, Noah Shapiro dining at a prestige London restaurant is taken away after a violent struggle with police. Sophie is revealed as a serial liar who planned to divorce Scibby even before they were married but only once the children were born so she could lay claim to the beautiful family home. The judge grants joint custody of the children who choose to live with their father and following a staged-managed traffic incident in Dubai, Caspara is found to be living there illegally and is deported to Iran. Hecht is fired from Mirin Bank and the private clients are made whole. The story closes with Scibby relaxing on a beach in Bali with his children. With Harvey inside, the final scene reveals Elze plotting to continue the syndicate’s illicit activities, this time with Harvey’s former protégé Leigh Manwaring and a new cast of misfits operating at financial institutions in London, Lugano, and Mauritius.

Attached Talent: 

Don McNab-Stack accredited screenwriter and producer whose scripts have been filmed in UK, USA, Canada South Africa and Australia.

Submitted: January 13, 2022
Last Updated: January 13, 2022

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Steven Faulkner's picture

The Writer: Steven Faulkner

I am a new writer that has been studying the craft for two years now. I have attended several courses including Robert McKee's courses in London. My background is/was FX and global transaction banking, enabling payments and receiving funds to/from almost any country in the world. I have lived and worked in Africa for the last 10 years. In 2005, I designed and launched one of the first online, cross border payments system using mobile phones. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, I left nothing on the the table and have no regrets. I look forward to engaging with this esteemed group. Go to bio

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