It's been five years since The Wolf of Wall Street was released, and in that time, it's become one of the more popular films on actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese's resumes. But beyond that, The Wolf of Wall Street is still occasionally brought up due to controversy from behind the scenes. Namely, a corruption scandal that involved The Wolf of Wall Street's production company, Red Granite Pictures, using money from a Malaysian government investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to fund the movie. The problem was that 1MDB had embezzled billions from the Malaysian government, and now word's come in that former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested for his connection to the case.
According to THR, Najib Razak was arrested by Malaysia's anti-corruption task force on Tuesday, and his arrest comes less than two months after he was voted out of office during the country's election. Razak helped establish and build the 1MDB fund, only instead of using that money to help Malaysian citizens, Razak and his "inner circle" siphoned it off for lavish and opulent expenditures, including approximately $155 million being used to set up Red Granite Pictures and make The Wolf of Wall Street. After Razak lost the election, the investigations looking into him were reopened, resulting in him being banned from leaving the country and his properties being searched. Now he's in custody, and sources in Malaysia state that the charges are expected to be brought against him tomorrow, Wednesday.
Other people who participated in the 1MDB scandal includes Razak's stepson, Riza Aziz, who co-founded Red Granite Pictures and was a producer on The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as playboy Jho Low, who is reportedly now on the run to escape extradition. It's also worth noting that Red Granite Pictures also produced Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy's Home, but back in March, the company settled with the U.S. Justice Department for $60 million. Word of The Wolf of Wall Street's troubled financial origins first came out back in 2016, and Jordan Belfort, the man who The Wolf of Wall Street is based on, saw the producers throw a launch party for the movie that could have cost around $3 million when production hadn't even began yet. Later on, there were even calls for Leonardo DiCaprio to return his earnings from The Wolf of Wall Street.
We here at CinemaBlend will update you any other major developments surrounding The Wolf of Wall Street and its connection to this scandal as they come in. For now, Leonardo DiCaprio can next be seen in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, while Martin Scorsese has The Irishman coming to Netflix next year. If you're interested in learning what movies arrive later this year, browse through our 2018 release schedule.