The debt collection industry isn’t necessarily glamorous – yet, it caught the interest of Hollywood megastar Brad Pitt. Pitt’s production company, Plan B, is reportedly developing a TV series for HBO, tentatively called “Paper.” The show will center on the life of a single dad and ex-cocaine dealer trying to change his life around and stay out of prison by going into the debt collection business.
It likely won’t be medical collections the drama centers on, however, as a description of the show on Variety.com says that the main character will find that debt collection is just as cutthroat of a business as the one he’s trying to get away from.
The idea for the hour-long series comes from “Pay Up,” an essay by Jake Halpern that was featured in the New Yorker in 2010. The essay provides a glimpse into the life of an ex-con in Buffalo, NY who owns a small debt collection agency and works to recovers payday loans in order to provide for his five children.
The name for the TV series also comes from Halpern’s essay, which talks about “paper” – a term used in the collection industry to refer to debt that loan agencies and credit card companies have failed to collect on. These debts, ranging from medical collections to loans, are sold to collection agencies for cheap – and they are not usually easy to recover.
There is no official start date for the TV show yet, but it is known that Wells Tower is writing the project, and Pitt will be co-executive producing.