Wednesday, September 10, 2014
 (Reception 6:30-7:30pm)

Ben Mezrich
in conversation with Brett Ratner
discussing his novel, Seven Wonders

William Turner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

$20 General Admission
$40 Includes Ben Mezrich’s book + Reserved seat
$95 Pre-event reception (6:30-7:30pm) + Reserved Seat

Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.  He has authored twelve books, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which spent sixty-three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, His book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal was also a New York Times bestseller. The book was adapted into the movie The Social Network –written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher.

While writing these true stories, he has been afforded access to worlds seldom talked about. During his research for Bringing Down the House, he taped $250,000 to his body and smuggled it through airport security with some of the most notorious card-counters in the world, getting to taste the lifestyle of the Las Vegas high roller upon arrival. While writing Ugly Americans, he visited exclusive “Japanese Only” underground sex clubs in Tokyo and juggled roadblocks and run-ins against the Japanese mafia.  Sex On the Moon, Mezrich’s twelfth book, is being developed by the same producers and studio as The Social Network.  Both of Mezrich’s other New York Times bestsellers, Ugly Americans and Rigged, have been optioned for the big screen as well.

Seven Wonders is a departure of sorts — a high stakes epic thriller that races around the world to unlock the mystery that links the Seven Wonders of the World.  Jack Grady, a field anthropologist and 21st century Indiana Jones, lives for the thrill of adventure and the joy of discovery. When his estranged brother, the introverted mathematician Jeremy Grady, is murdered, Jack is determined to find out what happened. His first clue: his brother was stabbed in the chest with an ancient ivory spear.  It reminds him of the weapons of the Amazons, a fierce tribe of female warriors dating all the way back to the beginnings of mythology and history and the subject of Jack’s research for nearly half a decade.  Jack embarks on a far-flung journey around the globe – from China to Peru; Egypt to Brazil – as he unravels the mystery that links the Seven Wonders of the World, represented by seven divided segments of a golden snake. With the help of the beautiful and brilliant botanist Sloane Costa and Jack’s intrepid grad students, the team discovers a conspiracy to hide a roadmap to the Garden of Eden – and the truth behind a mythological ancient culture.  The movie rights have been sold to 20th Century Fox with Brett Ratner and James Packer producing.

Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers.  Ratner’s films as a director alone have grossed close to $2 billion at the global box office.  He most recently directed and produced the action adventure “Hercules,” starring Dwayne Johnson.

Ratner began his career directing numerous music videos before making his feature directorial debut on the crime comedy “Money Talks,” starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker.  He followed with the blockbuster action comedy “Rush Hour,” starring Tucker and Jackie Chan and launched two hit sequels.  Ratner has also helmed the films “The Family Man,” “Red Dragon,” “After the Sunset,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Tower Heist.”

Also a successful producer, Ratner produced the smash hit comedy “Horrible Bosses” and is currently working on the sequel, due out in November 2014.  Additionally, he produced the re-imagined Snow White tale, “Mirror Mirror.”  His credits also include the documentaries “Catfish”; the Emmy-nominated “Woody Allen – A Documentary,” for PBS’s “American Masters” series; “Helmut by June,” for HBO; and “I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale.”  Ratner also executive produced the Golden Globe-nominated television series Prison Break, which ran for four seasons on FOX.