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Netflix announces 'Operation Varsity Blues', a new documentary based on the 2019 college admissions scandal

Operation Varsity Blues director Chris Smith at the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2018.
Operation Varsity Blues director Chris Smith attending the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for his Fyre Festival documentary in 2018. (Image credit: JC Olivera / Stringer)

Netflix has announced Operation Varsity Blues, a brand-new documentary based on the 2019 American college admissions scandal. Chris Smith, director of Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Tiger King executive producer is lined up to direct.

Operation Varsity Blues will use recreations of real conversations to dive deep into the scandal that saw college places being sold off to hopeful students from wealthy families for huge sums of money by Rick Singer.

The documentary is described by Netflix as: "An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged.”

“Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.”

According to Deadline, Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Stranger Things) is lined up to play Rick Singer.

Operation Varsity Blues will be available on Netflix on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. You can watch the teaser that was released earlier today below: 

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Chris Smith’s previous Netflix project Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened was released in 2019. It documented the complete failure of the infamous Fyre Festival from rapper Ja Rule and Billy McFarland.

The documentary earned four nominations at the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, beating Hulu’s similar documentary—Fyre Fraud—which earned just one nomination at the Creative Arts Emmys in the same year. 

Elsewhere, Netflix are also working on a documentary that will cover Britney Spears’ conservatorship similar to the hugely popular project from the New York Times, Framing Britney Spears.