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Ben Mezrich’s latest is optioned by Hollywood heavy Brett Ratner

Ben Mezrich at his Boston office in 2014.
Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff
Ben Mezrich at his Boston office in 2014.

Another book, another movie for Ben Mezrich. The Boston author, whose “Bringing Down the House” and “The Accidental Billionaires” were both turned into movies (“21” and “The Social Network,” respectively), is headed back to the big screen with his next book, “Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs — A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder.” Mezrich’s buddy, Hollywood producer-director Brett Ratner, has optioned the behind-the-scenes account of Russian oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich. (The book comes out June 2.) This is actually the second Ratner/Mezrich venture: Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment optioned Mezrich’s previous book, “Seven Wonders.” It’s not surprising that Ratner is interested in the tale of the oligarchs since it was his idea. “Two years ago, I got a call from Brett and he said ‘I want you to come to London to meet some people who really want to talk to you,’ ” says Mezrich. “So I flew to London and went to this bar and there was Brett with these oligarchs.” Initially, the writer was reluctant. “I said no [expletive] way. These guys are pretty intense,” Mezrich says. “But I kept learning all this incredibly dramatic stuff. It’s very ‘Godfather’.” Over the years, Ratner had met and become friendly with several Russian billionaires, and they told him they heard echoes of their own story in “The Social Network,” director David Fincher’s film about the founders of Facebook. “They loved ‘The Social Network’ and wanted someone to tell their story,” says Mezrich. “Every now and then, Brett pitches me a story, like gun runners in Miami, and I don’t want to do it. This time it was perfect.”

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