The GameStop stock saga has taken Hollywood by storm, as Netflix and MGM are developing rival movies about the attack on Wall Street, while a third company is mounting a limited series about the ongoing controversy.
Let’s start with the most prominent project, which also happens to be the one that is most likely to be made first. That would be an untitled film quickly taking shape at Netflix, which is in negotiations with Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal, whose credits include The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.
Netflix will attach its homegrown hunk Noah Centineo (The Perfect Date) to play a major role, while activist/journalist/tech expert Scott Galloway, is in talks to consult on the script. Brad Weston will produce the film under his Makeready banner along with Nick Styne of Definition Entertainment, while Mark Sourian will serve as an executive producer.
The second project is an adaptation of Ben Mezrich‘s future book The Antisocial Network, which has landed at MGM following competitive bidding. Mezrich is the author of Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires, which were turned into the movies 21 and The Social Network, the latter of which was produced by MGM boss Michael De Luca. Deadline reports that the bestselling author’s latest book proposal, which only hit the market last week, concerns the “ragtag group of amateur investors, gamers, and internet trolls who brought Wall Street to its knees.”
Aaron Ryder of Ryder Picture Company will produce The Antisocial Network under his new first-look deal at MGM, whose Johnny Pariseau will oversee the project for the studio, which has made it a top priority. Meanwhile, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (yes, the Winklevii!) will executive produce the film via their Winklevoss Pictures banner. Publishers are expected to bid for the book rights later this month, but there was no time to waste when it came to the movie adaptation.
Finally, producers Jessamine Burgum and Matthew Cooper of Pinky Promise have attached Tankhouse filmmaker Noam Tomaschoff to write a limited series titled To the Moon, and they’ve already begun working with longtime members of the subreddit r/WallStreetBets, as well as hedge fund execs and other trading insiders, to make sure they get the story right.
Anne Clements will serve as an executive producer on the project, which will follow two roommates who have been laid off from their jobs at GameStop and AMC and decide to use their economic stimulus checks to start day trading during the pandemic.
“I’ve worked in finance and witnessed these hedge funds gleefully profiting off the backs of struggling companies and ordinary people without a second thought,” Tomaschoff told Deadline, which broke the news. “This diverse and dynamic people’s movement to hit Big Money where it hurts is unprecedented and inspiring to anyone who dreams of changing the world. I’m excited to partner with a wide range of those involved to craft a story that captures the swashbuckling dedication of the normal people who banded together to beat the bad guys at their own game.”
“Pinky Promise was founded to champion the underdog — it’s hard to imagine a story that captures that ethos more than To the Moon. We’re committed to doing the movement justice with this series and having a lot of fun along the way,” Burgum told Deadline, which added that the company has already started conversations with buyers, so you can expect to hear more about the series in the coming days.
The model for all of these projects, more or less, is The Big Short, which aimed to explain the subprime mortgage crisis that led to the 2008 financial collapse. I wasn’t a huge fan of that film even though it was a big hit, so here’s hoping that Hollywood can explain the GameStop saga in a more entertaining and less confusing way.
I’m a bit of a dummy when it comes to Wall Street — my only foray into the stock market was investing $100 bucks in MoviePass’ parent company, which didn’t work out so great — so I’m the last person who would even try to explain the GameStop saga. I know the company’s market value has increased over 1,700% since December (i.e. more than $10 billion) even though GameStop hasn’t done any more actual business than it did before. The Reddit crowd also drove up the value of AMC and Nokia — flailing companies that Wall Street had bet against — which prompted trading app RobinHood to put restrictions on certain stocks, much to the ire of its users. Those who got in early made a killing, including Kevin Gill, whose $53,000 investment in GameStop back in 2019 is now worth nearly $48 million. It’s unclear if he’ll be a central figure in any of these three projects, or if they’ll substitute him for a composite character.
The only thing I’m willing to bet on right now is that Netflix and Boal will be first out of the gate. After all, Boal and Kathryn Bigelow were far down the line on a movie about the U.S. government’s unsuccessful hunt for Osama Bin Laden when it was announced that a group of Navy SEALs had killed the mastermind behind 9/11, forcing the Hurt Locker duo to pivot. They did so quickly and the result was Zero Dark Thirty, which was nominated for Best Picture. Deadline notes that Boal’s project is about more than just stock market shenanigans, as it will also explore the way social media has allowed people to band together for better or worse, including the right-wing extremists who stormed the Capitol last month in response to Donald Trump‘s ridiculous tweets that the election was stolen from the Republican Party — which have proven to be demonstrably false, mind you.
I kind of hate that people in the industry see the GameStop saga as a moneymaking opportunity for themselves, but hey, Hollywood gonna Hollywood. I’m eager to see who will wind up directing these movies (hopefully not Adam McKay, sorry), but for now, all we can do it wait and debate the placement of The Social Network on Tom Reimann‘s list of David Fincher’s best films. By the way, now that Mank is out of his system, is he available for either of these movies? Because that could be pretty interesting…
Shaka King’s movie is packed with great performances, but its secret weapon is in telling a story about how individuals relate to power dynamics.
About The Author