Earlier this week, Hollywood studio MGM bought the rights to a book proposal about the recent (and, in some ways, still ongoing) saga of GameStop and Reddit. I thought it was a pretty thin foundation for a movie when I first heard about it (especially since it’s based on a proposed book, rather than one that actually, you know, exists), yet it wasn’t the only reported movie project in the works: Netflix was also rumored to be working on a GameStop/Reddit movie of its own.
Now there are three: Variety reported today that US-based network HBO is working on a GameStop movie of its own that will explore “how a populist uprising of social media day traders beat Wall Street at their own game.” Executive producers on the show will include Andrew Ross Sorkin, the co-creator of the Showtime hedge fund drama Billions and author of Too Big to Fail, a book about the 2008 financial crisis that apparently taught us nothing, as well as former HBO Films head Len Amato and Blumhouse Television founder Jason Blum.
I have no idea if there’s really an appetite for even one of these films, much less three, but there’s definitely an audience for financial crisis dramas on the big screen in general: The 2015 film The Big Short, for instance, earned more than $133 million on a $50 million budget, and also earned multiple nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and more. Sorkin’s book, Too Big to Fail, was also made into a star-studded HBO film in 2011, and earned multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award nominations.
It will be more interesting, I think, to see how each of these films concludes, since the story of GameStop and Reddit is still ongoing. The wild ride that took GameStop’s share price to a staggering high of $483 (remember, it started 2021 under $20) appears to be over, as it closed today at $63—a solid gain over its price two weeks ago, but nowhere near the dreams of glory that the Diamond Hands of the WallStreetBets subreddit had for it.
There are still some, like billionaire investor Mark Cuban, boosting the stock, and maybe they’ll prove to be right, but they also tend to be the investors who can absorb the loss. Individual investors, especially those who got caught up in the heat of the moment and jumped in when the price was near its peak, are in a very different situation. For them, it seems unlikely that the GameStop stock story (and, by extension, the many movies about it) will have a happy ending.
We may get more insight into how exactly the WallStreetBets subreddit was able to drive up GameStop’s share price so rapidly, and what role the Robinhood trading app played in bringing it back down: US Rep. Maxine Waters has invited infamous Reddit investor Keith Gill, better known to the WallStreetBets community as DeepFuckingValue, as well as Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev and representatives from various hedge funds and GameStop, to testify on the matter before Congress.
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