By Sarah Sluis
Perhaps you recall that last October, Fox planned to fast-track a sequel to 1987's Wall Street. Well, six months later, they've resurfaced to announce that two of the originals are on board: Oliver Stone has agreed to direct, and Michael Douglas will reprise his Oscar-winning performance as Gordon Gekko.
Allan Loeb, who adapted the screenplay for 21 as well as upcoming film The Baster, has been writing the sequel, and apparently the strength of the story he turned in helped win over Stone to the project. THR mentions that this project has been in development for some time, and a quick check of IMDB reveals a project called Money Never Sleeps, which may be the script Allan Loeb rewrote, or chucked.
of the movie, now titled Wall Street 2, have not been revealed, six months ago the plan was to pick
up Gekko's story after he is released from jail. Shia LaBoeuf is in talks
to play a newbie, Charlie Sheen-like character that Gekko mentors, much like in the original film.
No word on where the movie will position itself in the financial
crisis. Will it dial back a couple years and let the audience revisit
the collapse of all the major banks, or position the characters as
looking to profit from the recession? Production is on track to start this summer, which puts the film at a 2010 release, and Edward R. Pressman, who produced the first film, will also handle the second.
Still, one of the greatest liabilities of this project is what I'll call the Iraq War effect. Movies like The Lucky Ones were being put into production constantly when the war was a hot topic, only to open in empty theatres because the movies either seemed not relevant enough to someone totally separated from the war, or too close to home for those with friends and family involved in the war. Or, perhaps, maybe they just weren't good enough?
I saw the original Wall Street long after 80's excess had waved good-bye, but the film still worked for me because it made the 80's seem as epic and recognizable as the considerably more distant Roaring 20's. Plus, the film wasn't dependent on being a homage to the age: it had a great script, direction, and unforgettable performances. Will the sequel to Wall Street be able to position itself as timeless even as views on the financial crisis and recession continue to change? Stone's most recent film, W., managed to do well even when though it released October 17th, on the eve of the election, during a time when public opinion of the President could have swung in any direction. If anyone can handle a story that's giving a historical perspective on the modern day, it's Stone.