A famous play by Italian playwright Stefano Massini is being developed as a TV series for a global market. The Lehman Trilogy follows three German immigrant brothers as they arrive in America in the 19th century and shows their history through the founding of the investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The story will then span generations until the collapse of the company in 2008.


Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States (behind Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill), with about 25,000 employees globally. Lehman Brothers were operational for 158 years from its founding in 1850 until 2008.

After an already shakey year for the global economy as the US sub-prime mortgage failures began to stack up and ripple out beyond the United States, the firm found itself massively exposed following the exodus of most of its clients, drastic losses in its stock, and devaluation of assets by credit rating agencies, largely sparked by a loss of confidence, Lehman’s involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis, and its exposure to less liquid assets.


Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the largest in US history, and in the process delivered the final kick to the wobbling economy, bringing the whole thing crashing down and sparking the biggest recession since the Great Depression.

Images of downbeat, shell-shocked Lehman employees trooping out of their bankrupt company with their professional possessions in cardboard boxes became an indelible image of the worldwide financial crisis.


The following day, Barclays announced its agreement to purchase Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and trading divisions along with its New York headquarters building. Nomura Holdings announced that it would acquire Lehman Brothers’ franchise in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East as financial power flowed East, away from the US in the wake of the collapse.

The stage production famously only utilizes three actors, who play their own children and grandchildren throughout. A condensed English-language version of the play has run in the UK and the US with Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes running the show. His Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in the West End was a triumph.

According to Variety Italian TV networks are kick-starting the project.

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