‘La La Land’ duo Ryan Gosling, Damien Chazelle reteam for ‘First Man’

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight.

A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Chazelle’s interest and stories continue to focus on the cost of achievement…and whether or not excellence is worth the price for those who reach. Just as he reimagined the discipline of mentorship on the road to mastery in Whiplash—and deconstructed the movie musical in La La Land—Chazelle now challenges expectations of what a “mission picture” should resemble. Discovering First Man alongside numerous collaborators, Chazelle approaches the film from interior angles in order to immerse audiences in this impossible journey.

Portraying the passionate, indomitable, unsung hero Janet Armstrong is Claire Foy (Netflix’s The Crown)—Neil’s wife and the woman who helped make these times monumental. Although she assumed she’d build her life with someone with an adventurous disposition, Janet grapples with the sacrifices they’re asked to make in this unexpected journey into history. While Neil travels to the heavens to deal with their shared grief of unthinkable loss, Janet must handle the Earthly business of being the backbone of the burgeoning space program. One of the most public faces of NASA families…she led a private life of wondering if she’d chosen this path to shape history…or if fate had done so for the Armstrongs.

Gosling and Foy are joined on screen by an accomplished troupe portraying the men selected for the Gemini Program alongside Armstrong—Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Ed White, Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl) as Elliot See, Ethan Embry (Netflix’s Grace and Frankie) as Pete Conrad, Pablo Schreiber (STARZ’ American Gods) as Jim Lovell, Christopher Abbott (HBO’s Girls) as David Scott, Corey Stoll (Marvel’s Ant-Man) as Buzz Aldrin, Skyler Bible (Socially Awkward) as Richard F. Gordon, and Shea Whigham (Non-Stop) as Gus Grissom.

Playing the men in command of these early missions are KYLE CHANDLER (Game Night) as Director of Flight Operations Deke Slayton and CIARÁN HINDS (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Bob Gilruth, the first Director of the Space Center. They are joined by LUKAS HAAS (The Revenant) as command space module pilot Mike Collins and CORY MICHAEL SMITH (TV’s Gotham) as Roger Chaffee, Grissom and White’s fellow ill-fated comrade on the Apollo Command Module, which was destroyed during a pre-flight test at Cape Canaveral. Also joining the performers is OLIVIA HAMILTON (La La Land) as Pat White, who serves as a daily reminder to the closely knit neighborhood of the real threat they’re all facing.

Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight, The Post), the epic drama of leading under the pressure of grace and tragedy is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Isaac Klausner (Love, Simon) and Chazelle. Steven Spielberg, Adam Merims and Singer executive produce, while DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film.

In Philippine cinemas October 17, 2018, First Man is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Ryan Gosling unearths a mystery in ‘Blade Runner 2049’

In Columbia Pictures’ futuristic action-thriller Blade Runner 2049, Academy Award-nominee Ryan Gosling stars as LAPD Officer K who is sent on an assignment that could have far-reaching consequences—calling into doubt the divide between people and replicants, between humanity and technology, which could lead to anarchy or even war.

The highly awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1980s original classic, Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Oscar-nominee Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival).

Gosling remarks, “The original film is haunting; it’s hard to shake. It asks you to look at your idea of what it means to be human, and it makes you weigh your ability to recognize the hero from the villain. It’s a nightmarish vision of the future that’s somehow grounded and feels possible, and yet it’s presented in this romantic, dreamlike way that sticks with you. Time has proven its specialness.”

Gosling says his interest in the project was piqued upon learning something was in the works. “When I heard that Ridley was considering continuing the narrative, I was already invested; I already wanted to know what happened next. And then, given the chance to enter that world and help tell that story…it just felt like an amazing opportunity.”

The actor goes on to relate that the world in which we find his character “has become a much tougher and more isolated place than the one we left 30 years ago. As a result, the blade runner profession has become more complicated. When we first meet K, he is deep in the throes of that isolation and those complications.

“In the beginning of the film,” Gosling continues, “it’s a day like any other: K has been sent to ‘retire’ an old-model replicant. But in the process, he unintentionally unearths a mystery that ultimately makes him question everything he thought he knew.”

Villeneuve observes, “K has a very hard life and is a very lonely character. He has the worst job on Earth, but, unexpectedly, out of his latest assignment, comes a dream…a desire so strong that it will blind him. And I thought that was quite a beautiful arc.

“When I read the screenplay,” the director adds, “Ryan Gosling had already been suggested for the role of K, and I said yes immediately. There could be no one else. He is an actor who can express a world of emotion just moving an eyebrow. I needed an actor of extreme intelligence and the kind of strength to go through the darkness. Ryan’s passion and his relentless efforts in making sure we nailed every scene deeply moved me because I felt it was as important to him as it was to me to make a great movie together.”

The chorus of voices suggesting Gosling for K also included the actor who starred in Blade Runner: Harrison Ford. “I thought K would be a good part for Ryan and was very enthusiastic about proposing that to the producers. And they said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what we were thinking, too,’ so I was very happy about that. I very much enjoyed working with Ryan in the film. He brings an originality to everything he does and an intelligence, but you don’t see the wheels turning. He inhabits a character rather than struggles to create it.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas and IMAX on Friday, October 6, Blade Runner 2049 is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford get ‘Blade Runner 2049’ character posters

Columbia Pictures has unveiled the character posters of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford for Blade Runner 2049.

Check out the one-sheets below and watch Blade Runner 2049 in Philippine cinemas Friday, October 6, 2017.

The highly awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1980S original classic, Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Academy Award-nominee Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) and opens

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

The film is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

The film also stars Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian and Hiam Abbass.

Blade Runner 2049 will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Step into the city of stars in romantic musical film ‘La La Land’

Step into the city where the biggest and brightest stars are made in this year’s most anticipated romantic musical “La La Land” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling with John Legend in his first major screen role.

Directed by Damien Chazelle, who also helmed the phenomenal and unforgettable “Whiplash,” “La La Land” is a breathless, thrilling romance that intertwines the worlds of Sebastian and Mia who are trying to find their place in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

The jazz pianist Sebastian, played by Academy Award® nominee Gosling, has a near-miss with the greatest love of his life. A defiantly retro jazz diehard who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anyone or anything, at first he brushes off Mia (Stone) as just another person who will never comprehend him or the gravity of his dreams – but that does not go as planned. An equal magnet for Gosling was the intrigue of playing a man who worships with his very being an artform that seems to be dying on the vine of a ruthlessly fast-changing pop culture.

“Sebastian has dedicated his life to being a great jazz pianist, but in his mind the world around him is saying those days are over. His heroes were born 70 years ago, and in this day and age, a great piano player playing real jazz is destined to work in bars where people don’t even stop their conversations to listen to you,” Gosling notes. “So how much do you compromise to be the artist you want to be?”

The aspiring actress Mia (Stone) seems to be caught in an endless loop from her barista job to dead-end auditions when she finds herself repeatedly bumping into the same ill-mannered pianist in a convertible – who breaks the spell. Playing Mia is Academy Award® nominee Emma Stone, whose roles have ranged from “Superbad” and “Easy A” to “The Help” and “Birdman.”

Stone faced a one-of-a-kind challenge with the role – playing a character who has to be at once anchored in very real goals and feelings, while also able to erupt into musical fantasia at a moment’s notice, combining the two seamlessly. It helped that Stone has not only explored the depths of dramatic roles, but also has the skills of a Broadway veteran who recently starred as Sally Bowles in the revival of Cabaret.

Mia’s yearning for something beyond the ordinary also hit home with her. “Mia is driven by something that maybe she doesn’t completely understand,” says Stone. “She wants to be an artist in a city of so many people who seem to be just like her. She feels that there’s something special inside her but she doesn’t quite know what it is. I could relate to her being an actress and going on auditions but even more so, there was something so exciting about taking her into this musical world where you can suddenly spin down the street or burst into song. That was a wonderful challenge.”

“La La Land” opens January 11, 2016 in Philippine cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Romantic musical ‘La La Land’ reunites Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

The highly-anticipated romantic musical and Golden Globe Awards frontrunner “La La Land” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling brings the audience to classic Hollywood on an exuberant song-and-dance journey through a life-changing love affair between a jazz pianist and a hopeful actress.

From the recently announced Golden Globe Awards nominees, “La La Land’s” nominations include Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Ryan Gosling for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Emma Stone for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Damien Chazelle as Best Director for a Motion Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

Both an ode to the glamour and emotion of cinema classics, a love letter to the Los Angeles of unabated dreams, and a distinctly modern romance, “La La Land” reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, bringing them together with rising writer/director Damien Chazelle (the Oscar®-winning “Whiplash”). The film begins as everything begins in L.A.: on the freeway. This is where Sebastian (Gosling) meets Mia (Stone), with a disdainful honk in a traffic jam that mirrors all too well the gridlock they’re each navigating in their lives. Both are focused on the kind of near-impossible hopes that are the lifeblood of the city: Sebastian trying to get people to care about traditional jazz in the 21st Century, Mia aiming to nail just one uninterrupted audition. But neither expects that their fateful encounter will lead them to take leaps they never could do alone.

Wearing its influences on its sleeve yet taking considerable risks, La La Land allows filmmaker Chazelle to pay homage to legends of cinema while harnessing its current power to make the most private human terrain – the territory of intimate relationships, personal dreams and the crossroads where decisions set fate into motion – come to life on the screen as a palpably real, yet enchanted, universe.

As it turned out, Gosling had his own long-held affection for movie musicals that came into play the minute he came aboard. Says Gosling: “I was really intrigued by the fact that Damien wanted to make a film in the style of that Fred and Ginger and Gene Kelly eras, because those are the musicals that move me. The fact that he wanted this film to have that kind of aesthetic and spirit of playfulness was fantastic because it was also a secret wish of mine to make a film like that.”

Early on in the process, Stone met with Chazelle, who took her through his ideas for some of the musical numbers. “It was intoxicating,” Stone recalls. “The idea of telling this really modern story of two struggling artists — but in a 1950s-style musical version of today’s Los Angeles — became something really exciting to me very quickly.”

Mia’s yearning for something beyond the ordinary also hit home with her. “Mia is driven by something that maybe she doesn’t completely understand,” says Stone. “She wants to be an artist in a city of so many people who seem to be just like her. She feels that there’s something special inside her but she doesn’t quite know what it is. I could relate to her being an actress and going on auditions but even more so, there was something so exciting about taking her into this musical world where you can suddenly spin down the street or burst into song. That was a wonderful challenge.”

“La La Land” will open on January 11 in Philippine cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

Untitled ‘Blade Runner’ sequel unveils first-look concept art

Columbia Pictures has just revealed the first-look concept art for its Untitled Blade Runner Sequel starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.

Denis Villeneuve (“Sicario,” “Prisoners”) is directing and principal photography is scheduled to begin this month. The film will be released by Warner Bros. in North America and Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute in all media for all overseas territories.

“I’ve always been attracted to science-fiction films with strong visual signatures that lead us into unique parallel worlds and the original ‘Blade Runner’ is by far the best of all time,” said Villanueve in a statement. “Ridley Scott had the genius to blend science-fiction and film noir to create this unique exploration of human condition. The new ‘Blade Runner’ is an extension of the first movie a few decades later.”

The sequel is set several decades after the 1982 original, with Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role as Rick Deckard. The film is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Story details are not being revealed.

Cast includes: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi and Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian and Hiam Abbass.

Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Ridley Scott will also executive produce. Bill Carraro will executive produce.

The Untitled Blade Runner Sequel will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

‘The Big Short’ enlists Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez to explain complex concepts

Because Paramount Pictures’ “The Big Short” takes place within an industry riddled with obtuse terminology, director Adam McKay knew he needed an entertaining way to clarify some core concepts for the audience.

“People need to know this stuff in order to follow the story, but when you first hear phrases like ‘collateralized debt obligation’ or ‘credit default swap,’ they make you feel stupid and bored,” McKay says. “Bankers do everything they can to make these transactions seem really complicated, so we came up with the idea of having celebrities pop up on the screen throughout the movie and explain things directly to the audience.”

The cleverly staged cameos include “The Wolf of Wall Street” star Margot Robbie demystifying mortgage-backed securities while drinking champagne in a bubble bath, and chef/TV host Anthony Bourdain comparing leftover fish to toxic financial assets.
McKay says he recruited Bourdain for the scene after reading his memoir Kitchen Confidential. “He tells readers that they should not order seafood stew because it’s where cooks put all the crap they couldn’t sell,” says the director. “I thought ‘Oh my God that’s a perfect metaphor for a collateralized debt obligation, where the banks bundle a bunch of bad mortgages and sell it as a triple-A rated financial product.'”

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To illustrate the ruinous domino effect triggered by the collapse of so-called “synthetic CDO’s,” McKay paired Selena Gomez with behavioral economist Dr. Richard Thaler in a scene set in a casino. As Thaler expounds upon the idea of “Extrapolation Bias” – the tendency to assume that something that’s happening now will continue to happen – Gomez sits at a blackjack table with a giant stack of chips. “It’s a kind of high-low dynamic where we’ve got Selena playing blackjack as onlookers take side bets on her hand,” says McKay. “It was investors making those kinds of side bets on mortgage-backed securities through CDOs that drove the whole world economy to where it was poised to crash.”

Gomez admits she was surprised to get a call from McKay for “The Big Short.” “I read the script and didn’t understand most of it, which scared the hell out of me because I do think it’s important to learn about our economic system,” says the young actress and pop superstar. “But after I talked to Adam, it made sense to be part of this movie. I get a chance to use my platform and communicate to people who care about me. My generation is the next generation coming up. It’s important for us to understand what happened.”

The Big Short posters

Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, “The Big Short” is vying for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Adam McKay), Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: the big short. (To “short” in Wall Street language means, “to make a bet against”). Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Now showing across the Philippines, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Ryan Gosling plays honest opportunist in ‘The Big Short’

Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling plays slick Deutsche Bank dealmaker Jared Vennett, in the critically acclaimed real-life cautionary tale, “The Big Short” from Paramount Pictures.

Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”), “The Big Short” also stars Academy Award-honorees Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Brad Pitt. Adam McKay directs from a screenplay by Charles Randolph and McKay.

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In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Gosling’s Jared Vennet plays a key role in bringing Wall Street crusader and hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) into the fold of those shorting mortgage-backed bonds.

The Big Short Ryan Gosling Brad Pitt Steve Carell

Taunted as “Chicken Little” and “Bubble Boy” by his colleagues, Vennett convinces Baum and company of the unavoidable failure of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) backed by “tranches” – layers – of subprime home loans to people with bad credit histories and low FICO scores. “Jared uses the Jenga block-stacking game to show Baum and his gang how a CDO is built on this very vulnerable foundation and will inevitably fall. When Jared pulls away a few pieces, the whole thing collapses.”

Vennett sparks a pivotal sequence when he challenges Baum to attend the American Securities Forum in Las Vegas. “Jared essentially tells Mark, ‘Your bet is against dumb money and I want to show you just how dumb that money really is,'” says Gosling. “When he takes the FrontPoint gang to Vegas, they finally see how oblivious and arrogant these money managers are.”

Gosling had the opportunity to meet the real-life Wall Street banker his character is based on. “He was very helpful in terms of helping me to wrap my head around the language and what really happened,” says the actor.

The Big Short Ryan Gosling

Unlike the film’s other protagonists, Jared Vennett comes across as a smooth-talking Wall Street insider, outfitted in a hairpiece from hairstylist Adruitha Lee and wigmaker Alex Perrone and immaculately dressed in form-fitting suits crafted by costume designer Susan Matheson. Serving double duty as the film’s narrator, Jared at times addresses the audience directly. Gosling sparked to the challenges of using his character’s surface charm to bring clarity to a widely misunderstood story.

“The inspiration that made me want to be part of this film came from the way it treats the audience as smart people,” he says. “So much Wall Street terminology is designed to take advantage of consumers. The way Adam McKay tells this story helps you understand what really happened.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 20, 2016, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Steve Carell plays Wall Street crusader in ‘The Big Short’

At the moral center of Paramount Pictures’ riveting real-life tale “The Big Short” is the rage-filled hedge-fund manager known in the movie as Mark Baum and portrayed by Oscar-nominee Steve Carell.

Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”), “The Big Short” also stars Academy Award-honorees Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.

In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

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Baum, who runs Morgan Stanley subsidiary FrontPoint, fascinated Carell on multiple levels. “Mark has a very strong moral compass, yet at the same time he’s immersed in the world of Wall Street, so in that way I think he’s tortured,” says the actor. “Mark believes he’s this knight in shining armor, even though there are chinks in that armor. Shorting the housing market starts out as a kind of screw-you to the banks – he’s going to prove these guys wrong. But in the end, what does that victory mean in terms of human collateral? Who is really hurt? Mark is conflicted because he makes a ton of money from the banks that are screwing over ordinary middle-class people. That’s a tough thing for him to resolve.”

Baum’s anger at Wall Street greed is compounded by grief over a painful loss that his wife Cynthia (Marisa Tomei) urges him to acknowledge. “Mark has a visceral connection to this terrible thing that happened and blames himself to a certain extent,” Carell explains. “He wonders, ‘Could I have done something more to avert this tragedy? Has this changed me into someone I don’t like and never wanted to be in the first place?’ There’s a lot of stuff going on inside of Mark Baum.”

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Carell’s performance marks the latest of several collaborations with director Adam McKay, whom he first met when they were both performers in Chicago’s Second City improv troupe and later reteamed with in the Anchorman movies. That was before Carell’s Oscar-nominated role as real-life multimillionaire philanthropist-turned-murderer John du Pont in “Foxcatcher.” “Steve’s always been a great technician with perfect timing but when I saw him in `Foxcatcher,’ I was like ‘Holy crap!'” McKay says. “His performance blew me away.”

Carell brought an unrelenting pursuit of excellence to the role, says the director. “Steve constantly pushed himself, take after take after take. I’d say, ‘That was great,’ and he’d go ‘No, no, no, there’s more there,’ and sure enough, he’d find something deeper. It ended up being a great collaboration.”

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Part of that collaboration included real-life money managers. “I met with a few people represented by this character and picked their brains,” Carrel says. “You don’t want to try to do impersonations of someone because that’s really not the point. But you do want to glean an attitude and a way of being that these people have.”

Carell connected instinctively with his character’s realization that the corruption he’s uncovered in the business world extends well beyond Wall Street. “At the end of the film, I think Mark’s a little heartbroken because he sees the depth of the fraud. He sees the lowest type of human interaction and the saddest, shallowest, most self-serving motives and morality in people. You hope for better from your fellow man.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 20, 2016, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Non-fiction book ‘The Big Short’ now a provocative film

Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”), Paramount Pictures presents the sardonic comedy “The Big Short” directed by Adam Mckay (“Step Brothers”) and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.

In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Five years ago, when director Adam McKay read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, he became fascinated with a farce of a different kind. Intrigued by the mixture of comedy, drama, and outright tragedy in Michael Lewis’ brilliant behind-the-scenes look at the lead-up to the global economic meltdown, McKay yearned to take a break from absurdist comedies and bring “The Big Short” to the big screen.

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“I started reading the book at around 10:30 at night and thought, ‘I’ll just read 40 pages,'” McKay recalls. “I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading the whole thing that night and finished at six in the morning. The next day I told my wife about the characters and how the book weaves together all these different storylines and how it’s like a ‘get rich’ story that’s ultimately about the fall of the banking system, corruption and complacency, and how it’s funny and it’s heartbreaking at the same time. And she’s like, ‘You should do it.’ And I said, ‘I’m the guy who did Step Brothers.’ I didn’t even look into it, because I just assumed a Scott Rudin or a Plan B had already bought the rights to this book.”

Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, had in fact partnered with Paramount Pictures to develop “The Big Short” as a motion picture. Producer Jeremy Kleiner found striking similarities between the author’s approach to baseball and Wall Street within author Michael Lewis’ book Money Ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

The book that got McKay and Plan B so excited about making a film about the events leading to the banking crisis comes from the mind of master non-fiction storyteller Michael Lewis. After working at a big Wall Street bank himself in the 1980s, Lewis wrote the bestseller Liar’s Poker, a funny and revealing look at the lucrative and deceptive world of bond trading. The author had no plans for a follow-up until the 2008 financial collapse. “I started reading about how big banks like the one I had worked for lost hundreds of billions of dollars trading in the subprime mortgage-bond market,” Lewis recalls. “The banks had become the dumb money at the table and were losing huge amounts … so I wondered, ‘How does that happen?'”

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In search of answers, Lewis met with former investment bankers who’d lost their jobs after the meltdown. “We’d go out for a beer and they’d tell me off the record, ‘The only reason I’m explaining to you why I lost 10 billion dollars on a single trade is that you’re the reason I’m in the business. I read Liar’s Poker and that got me excited to be a Wall Street trader.’ After a few conversations I realized, ‘Jesus Christ, I created this crisis!’ I had a personal stake in these dummies responsible for losing all this money who had been led into the profession by this book I wrote. So then I tried to sort out how these institutions at the heart of capitalism became stupid and did such suicidal things. Banks like Goldman Sachs are filled with extremely bright, well-educated, best-and-brightest types from Harvard, Yale and Princeton.”

But it wasn’t these Ivy League former Masters of the Universe who ended up being the protagonists in Lewis’ book. Instead, he turned his attention to the misfits who defied the prevailing wisdom of banks, government regulators and media pundits and bet everything they had on an unprecedented failure of the American housing market. “I found out about these outsider oddball types on the periphery who figured out just how corrupt the system had become,” he says. “These are the guys that made The Big Short a book and not just a magazine piece. The guys who bet against the banks and made fortunes – those were the characters who interested me.”

Opening across the Philippines in January 2016, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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