HBO documentary ICAHN: THE RESTLESS BILLIONAIRE, directed by Bruce David Klein, explores the fascinating contradictions at the heart of the famed financier, Carl Icahn. Amassing close to $20 billion dollars over the last half century and at the forefront of some of the most legendary business deals of our times, Icahn, often referred to as the “Lone Wolf of Wall Street,” is a feared negotiator and master strategist in the art of corporate takeovers and investments. A polarizing figure described as both an activist investor and a ruthless corporate raider, Icahn rose from modest beginnings in Queens to become one of the richest men in the world, embodying the American Dream, whose impact on companies, products, CEOs, stock markets, and capitalism itself is vast. Yet, he openly criticizes corporate excess and the huge wealth inequality gap. In his own words and with commentary from family members, journalists, and fellow titans of industry, ICAHN: THE RESTLESS BILLIONAIRE probes Icahn’s humble roots, his business acumen, and his obsessive drive to stay atop America’s corporate hierarchy.
ICAHN: THE RESTLESS BILLIONAIRE debuts TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.
For six tumultuous decades, Icahn has put his remarkably aggressive, brilliantly inventive, usually controversial, and often money-making stamp on the world’s most storied companies, from Apple and Marvel, Texaco and Rubbermaid, to Netflix and Lyft. In ICAHN: THE RESTLESS BILLIONAIRE, Icahn himself takes viewers inside some of the biggest deals of the last half century including his takeover of TWA in the 1980s, his high-profile investment in Apple in 2013 which provoked a stock rise of $17 billion dollars (this effect is known on Wall Street as “The Icahn Lift”), his very public battle with Bill Ackman over Herbalife, and his intervention during the Texaco bankruptcy, the largest in the world.
Formidable, unrelenting, and surprising, Icahn’s legacy is complicated. Considered by some to be a corporate raider whose actions sometimes result in the shuttering of companies and job losses, he prefers to see himself as a benevolent activist, an advocate of corporate democracy whose streamlining of corporations redistributes wealth to the shareholders and out of the hands of overpaid CEOs. Either way, his dealings have resulted in Icahn Enterprises, LP amassing assets of almost $30 billion dollars.
Adding insight and anecdotes from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, director Oliver Stone — who used some of Icahn’s insights to inform his movie “Wall Street” — business journalists including Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times), Cara Lombardo (The Wall Street Journal), Rana Foroohar (Financial Times), Scott Wapner (CNBC) and Bryan Burrough (co-author of the legendary “Barbarians at the Gate”), Icahn’s wife, daughter and the son that stands to succeed him.
HBO Documentary Films presents an Atlas Media Corp. Production ICAHN: THE RESTLESS BILLIONAIRE written, produced and directed by Bruce David Klein; produced by Alexander J. Goldstein; co-produced by Marc Kusnetz and Jim Bruce; executive produced by Jay Firestone. For HBO: senior producer, Tina Nguyen; executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.