Netflix would ultimately regret their funding of the project, which is ironic, given that they snatched “Conquest” out of the hands of Amazon when they were on the brink of signing Rinsch. Amazon, it seems, avoided a headache Netflix inherited. Rinsch was given $55 million of the $61.2 million deal, as well as complete creative control of the project, a rarity in Hollywood. Rinsch, however, became weirdly crazed during production. As the Times reported, Rinsch began claiming he knew where COVID-19 had come from and would rave about other wild conspiracy theories. He wrote in an e-mail about “the coronavirus signal emanating from within the earth.” He also claimed he could predict where lightning was going to strike, and that airplanes were intelligent machines that were greeting him. Clearly, Rinsch was suffering some kind of breakdown.
In addition to his strange behavior, Rinsch actively plundered Netflix’s millions, using the bulk of it on personal items that had nothing to do with production for several years. He used a lot of the money to buy stock and invest in the cryptocurrency market, reportedly making 23 million dollars in Dogecoin. This wasn’t exactly what they had in mind for an ambitious and expensive sci-fi epic. When the production was running low on cash, Rinsch asked for $11 million more, which Netflix gave. Rinsch put the whole of that advance into his personal brokerage account and lost nearly $6 million within weeks. Evidently, he also purchased five Rolls Royces, a Ferrari, and a lot of expensive suits and furniture. Netflix was known at the time for its lavish budgets and open spending, but this was ridiculous.
Rinsch, it should be noted, didn’t finish a single episode of “Conquest.”