Sony Pictures has slated “Dumb Money” for theatrical release on October 20, 2023. The film, directed by Craig Gillespie, tells the true story of a Wall Street short squeeze that momentarily turned GameStop stock into the hottest investment in town.
The squeeze had initially been triggered by users of the subreddit r/wallsteetbets, an online forum, although some hedge funds also participated. The momentary skyrocketing of the video game store’s per-share value, from $17.25 in early January of 2021 to $500 just weeks later, turned the saga into a skewed David vs. Goliath story. The narrative of amateur traders and “fans” of the company driving up its stock price as a form of fandom/social protest against the stereotypical investor class proved irresistible as a juicy media story.
By late March, it was back down to $120.34 per share and now, two years later, it sits at $17.11, or about on par with its pre-surge price. In the end, hedge funds made out a lot better financially than the would-be underdogs, which may or may not be the crux of “Dumb Money”s third act.
Hollywood immediately pounced on the story, with Netflix greenlighting a movie from “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter Mark Boal as early as February of 2021. The streaming giant would release a three-part documentary, “Eat the Rich,” about the saga in September of 2022.
In October 2022, Sony beat out competitors for the film rights to Ben Mezrich’s book “The Antisocial Network.” Craig Gillespie (“I, Tanya”) will direct from a screenplay from Rebecca Angelo & Lauren Schuker Blum.
“Dumb Money” will star Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Sebastian Stan, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley, Dane DeHaan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Anthony Ramos, America Ferrera, Myah’la Herrold, Nick Offerman and Talia Ryder.
Produced by Aaron Ryder, Teddy Schwarzman and Craig Gillespie, the extensive list of executive producers includes Michael Heimler, John Friedberg, Andrew Swett, Rebecca Angelo, Lauren Schuker, Blum, Ben Mezrich, Johnny Holland, Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss and Kevin Ulrich.
Sony Pictures holds rights to the Black Bear Pictures film in the US, Latin America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, India and select Asian markets.
The film will now open just two weeks after Sony’s “Kraven the Hunter” and will be sandwiched between Universal’s “The Exorcist” relaunch and Lionsgate’s “Saw X.” Whether or not “Dumb Money” can be the “Social Network” of 2023 it is encouraging to see major Hollywood studios releasing old-school movies sans franchise or IP.