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Dumb Money Trailer: Paul Dano Takes on Wall Street in Cinematic Retelling of GameStop Stock Frenzy

Dumb Money, the film chronicling GameStop’s 2021 stock market frenzy, just got a trailer. The film marks director Craig Gillespie’s foray into adapting real-life stories — since 2017’s I, Tonya — and is slated to release September 22 in theatres. With Paul Dano in the lead, it essentially serves as a David v Goliath dramedy about the real-life YouTuber Keith Gill, who took on billionaire hedge fund managers, who were betting that the stock price of brick-and-mortar retailer GameStop would fall. The shocking events were condensed in author Ben Mezrich’s novel ‘The Antisocial Network,’ from which the movie draws its plot beats upon.

The trailer for Dumb Money opens with Reddit screenshots and archived footage of news channels reporting on the GameStop short squeeze that sent Wall Street into a frenzy. We then jump back by six months, where YouTuber Keith Gill live streams himself and spreads his word across Reddit, trying to encourage people into investing in GameStop shares. You see, Wall Street is betting that GameStop is going to fail and if it does, a group of hedge-fund managers with millions in net worth would make a lot of money. The film focuses on three of them — Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen), Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio) — who initially see Gill’s buying as ‘dumb money’, which they are happy to accept. The regular people don’t like that idea and therefore, join Gill on his crusade and bet on GameStop, over time turning the investments into profit and upending their lives. Remember when everybody was installing the Robinhood app on their phone?

“How much did we make today?” Caroline Gill (Shailene Woodley) asks her husband Keith, who responds with “$5 million”, followed by another $4 million. On the other end, the shorters are losing money in the billions, day by day, with Plotkin getting grilled by his investment partners for dragging them into this mess. “You’ve got rich dudes pissing in their pants, right now,” Keith’s brother Kevin (Pete Davidson) tells him, encouraging his family to buy a Ferrari with all that money. The Dumb Money trailer constantly jumps back and forth showing Wall Street’s perspective as well, who are preparing to fight back and regain control over their financial empire. Gill is soon asked to testify before Congress in a virtual hearing, claiming that he had not solicited anyone into buying stocks to profit himself.

“A lot of people feel the system is broken,” Gill says during the call. “The whole idea of the stock market was that if you’re smart and maybe with a little luck, you can make your fortune. Certainly not anymore.” In a way, the Dumb Money trailer implies that he was fighting back so that everyday regular people can also turn their lives upside down and this was simply a gateway into proving that. The film also stars Anthony Ramos (In the Heights), America Ferrera (Barbie), and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). I must also point out that the producers seem to have quite accurately recreated the real-life Keith Gill’s setup, with Dano sporting the red bandana, a tie-dye shirt with cats on them, and even getting the same model of the microphone.

Dumb Money is slated to release September 22 in theatres.


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