Saturday, September 29, 2007

Greed is still Good

According to Fortune magazine, a sequel to the cult classic Wall Street is being written as we speak and it will star one of my all-time favorite actors Michael Douglas, which is good because without Douglas - don't bother.

Well, the wait is over. A sequel is in the works - with Douglas to star - and there have already been two different story lines developed for the film, tentatively called 'Money Never Sleeps.' And each speaks to how finance has changed since the original's release.

No mention of father and son Sheen, but Oliver Stone has opted out.

Stone, whose father's brokerage firm inspired the original, was involved in the sequel at first but pulled out to pursue other projects. In a script Stone conceived with the film's original screenwriter, Stanley Weiser, Gekko gets out of jail, sets up a hedge fund in China, and tries to reunite with his son. (For readers who never wore red suspenders, in the original, Gekko attempts a takeover of Bluestar Airline before being charged with insider trading.)

The current screenplay that is in development with 20th Century Fox is being written by former New Yorker scribe Stephen Schiff and is still a work in progress.

But Schiff says that he and producer Ed Pressman have met with moguls in London, sheikhs in Dubai, and hedge funders in New York to give the aging Gekko global flair.

The film at its debut, twenty years ago this coming December, opened to a lukewarm audience as moviegoers with a bent towards the financial world were still smarting from the October 1987 crash.

Similarly, the producers of the sequel are watching the markets currently to make sure not to make the same mistake twice.

Schiff is also waiting to see how the current unease in the stock market plays out. This is more than a plot point: Market jitters were faulted for the mediocre debut of the original. Released in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash, it grossed just $40 million as tales of corrupt financiers suddenly seemed passé. "I don't want to date the film," says Schiff of Gekko's new role. "With what's going on right now, the question is, Where will the unassailable money end up? It might not be hedge funds."

Interested in Wall Street movies? Also see Other People's Money with Danny DeVito.

And now for your viewing pleasure...

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