Having already scrutinised the intricacies of sports analytics in Moneyball, international bestselling author, Michael Lewis, turned his attention to the deep pit of numbers that was the global financial crisis with his book, The Big Short, in 2010. It went on to be adapted for its big screen release, following hot on the heels of a number of previous successes for Lewis’ work on the big screen, and it’s once again got a healthy amount of acting might behind it with Brad Pitt and Christian Bale leading an ensemble cast.
Cinema: The Big Short made its way to the big screen early in 2016 with a UK release date of Friday the 22nd January, more than a month after the US release, which took place on the 11th December 2015. It’s not unusual for movies to have different release date schedules in different regions, but here it seems a little more extreme than is the norm, but the seasonal variances between the UK and the United States have clearly nudged out the distribution. Perhaps the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens went out in Britain on the 17th December 2015 had an impact on the decision.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download: Following its run at the cinema, it will be making its way to DVD, Blu-ray and digital download in the UK with a release date on the 30th May 2016.
The story is based on true events that took place during the financial crisis between 2007 and 2010, focusing on the build up of the credit bubble in the US housing market. When a few financial sector mavericks get wind of the burgeoning housing bubble and impending recession they start to use they’re knowledge to make money through short sale investment in the banks at the heart of it all. If the banks’ share price valuation goes down they stand to make a fortune, but then there will also be millions of Americans that lose their home, their jobs and their own savings at the same time.
As if the addition of Brad Pitt (Fury) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises) to the cast list wasn’t impressive enough all by itself, the production has also landed Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond The Pines) to take on the greedy bankers that messed it up for the rest of us. Bale plays money manager Michael Murry, who first discovers the opportunity, Gosling stars as Jared Vennett, a Wall Street banker who picks up on Burry’s idea and takes it to head fund manager Mark Baum (Carell) in a bid to get in on the action, while Brad Pitt plays Richard Rickett, a former banker turned environmental spokesperson, who is hired to allow another team of investors to join the party. The cast also includes Jeremy Strong (Black Mass), Hamish Linklater and Rafe Spall (I Give It A Year) as Baum’s analysts.
The Big Short has been directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) whose back catalogue is made up predominantly of happy go lucky comedies like Taledego Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys. It will be one of his first hard hitting outings, although from the look of the trailer below there’s still a lot of room for the comedy. It was produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner(12 Years A Slave), Jeremy Kleiner, and Arnon Milchan (Birdman).
The screenplay was written by Charles Randolph (The Interpreter) and Adam McKay based on the book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. Barry Ackroyd (Captain Phillips) was in charge of cinematography.
As with anything that derives from the work of Michael Lewis, there’s a lot of interest in The Big Short and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out on the big screen with the memory of the crisis still fairly fresh in our minds. The trailer below seems to glorify the money making wizards that capitalise on the financial crisis, which strikes us as being a little out of sync, but we’re expecting a much more rounded perspective in the move when it’s released.