’47 Ronin’ Director Wasted Netflix Money on Sci-Fi Series: NYT

“47 Ronin” director Carl Erik Rinsch spent the millions Netflix gave him for his sci-fi series on bets on the stock and cryptocurrency markets, according to The New York Times. John Sciulli via Getty Images; Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • Netflix gave “47 Ronin” director Carl Erik Rinsch millions to produce the sci-fi series “Conquest.”
  • However, according to the New York Times, Rinsch instead used the money to trade stocks and cryptocurrencies.
  • Rinsch made a fortune trading Dogecoin and spent his earnings on fancy cars and designer goods.

“47 Ronin” director Carl Erik Rinsch used the millions of dollars Netflix gave him for his sci-fi series to pursue a different kind of creative endeavor — the stock and cryptocurrency market.

The 46-year-old director received a $61.2 million production deal from Netflix for a science fiction series, The New York Times’ John Carreyrou reported Wednesday, citing a November 2018 term sheet.

According to The Times, as of March 2020, Netflix had spent $44.3 million on Rinsch’s show “Conquest.” But Rinsch then told the streaming company that he needed more money or production would stop.

Netflix complied with Rinsch’s request and gave his production company an additional $11 million.

But this money was not spent on the production of the series. Instead, Rinsch used $10.5 million from Netflix’s 2020 funding round to play the stock market, The Times reported, citing court filings and financial documents from his divorce. Rinsch ultimately lost $5.9 million on the trade.

According to The Times, Rinsch then turned to the crypto market. This time he was luckier. Buying Dogecoin turned Rinsch’s $4 million bet into nearly $27 million.

Rinsch then spent $8.7 million on fancy cars and designer goods, The Times reported, citing the findings of a forensic accountant hired by Rinsch’s wife. Rinsch’s purchases included a Ferrari and five Rolls-Royces, according to The Times.

Despite spending more than $55 million on Rinsch’s series, Netflix has yet to receive any episodes from the director.

Thomas Cherian, a spokesman for Netflix, told The Times that they had written off Rinsch’s series, adding that it was “clear that Mr. Rinsch would never complete the project he agreed to.” Rinsch declined to answer The Times’ questions when asked for comment.

According to The Times, Rinsch and Netflix are currently in confidential arbitration proceedings. Rinsch, who initiated the arbitration process, according to The Times, says Netflix owes him at least $14 million in damages for breach of contract.

Rinsch’s filmography only consists of one film, the 2013 action film “47 Ronin” starring Keanu Reeve. The film was panned by critics and was one of the biggest box office bombs of the year.

Representatives for Rinsch and Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

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Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company Axel Springer, is a board member of Netflix.


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