Nissan-Renault CEO-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn’s incredible story to become a TV drama

Featuring Tony Shalhoub and directed by Michael Winterbottom & Alfonso Cuaron, Fall of the God of Cars is a six-part television series that’s not to be missed

The dramatic lives of the titans behind classic car brands are in vogue in the TV and movie world at the moment, with the men behind Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati all set to be immortalised on screen.

Now a six-part TV series, Fall of the God of Cars, is set to tell the story of Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn—and what a story it is.

The Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon was not only the first person ever to simultaneously run two Fortune 500 companies, but he also led the strategic Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, creating the world’s fourth biggest car manufacturer. He’s won plaudits for his involvement in helping Japan’s economic recovery following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in 2011, and for his pioneering efforts in electric cars.

But it’s the past five years that will provide the juiciest material. Ghosn was arrested in 2018 over financial regularities, a protracted process that led to further arrests and imprisonments, as he continued to protest Nissan executives had plotted against him because they opposed a potential merger of the three car brands.

His case has become a cause célèbre, with his wife campaigning on his behalf, and a United Nations human rights group accused the Japanese government of subjecting him to inhumane periods of solitary confinement.

Most notoriously, though, Ghosn hatched, and successfully carried out, a plan to orchestrate an escape in which he was hidden in a music case—which got through customs as it was deemed too big to be X-rayed—and taken onto a private jet to Beirut.

His story has been immortalised in Japanese comics and in the 2021 BBC Storyville documentary Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight, which the BBC is streaming for another three months here.

Tony Shalhoub—best known for playing the title role in detective show Monk and his Emmy-winning turn in The Marvellous Mrs Maisel—is playing Ghosn in the series, which comes from two idiosyncratic film-makers.

Michael Winterbottom hails Ghosn as “a superstar of the car industry”. The writer/director, too, has had a stellar and unpredictable career, from the loose, playful story of Manchester’s music scene 24 Hour Party People to This England, which starred Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson. Robb Report readers will probably be most attuned to his Sky series The Trip, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon ate their way around some of the finest restaurants in the Lake District, Italy and Spain.

Alfonso Cuaron’s career is no less wide-ranging: he’s won Oscars for space drama Gravity and autobiographical tale Roma, and also helmed a Harry Potter film and steamy road trip drama Y Tu Mama Tambien.

We’re not sure where the series will be airing yet, but it’s sure to be a fascinating ride.

This story was first published on Robb Report UK