Salt of the Earth Billionaires Bankroll GameStop Movie

Salt of the Earth Billionaires Bankroll GameStop Movie
Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

As soon as the GameStop short squeeze unfolded, making millionaires of youthful pirates staging a raid on Wall Street, a cabal of billionaires and institutions have been grappling with the more important question, which is: Yeah, but where do I fit in? At least one person asked how soon he can write the book that becomes a movie, and so, Deadline reports, MGM inked a Gamestop movie deal.

Or rather: “has acquired the book proposal The Antisocial Network from New York Times best-selling author Ben Mezrich,” who’s still shopping around the book. Bitcoin billionaires and hedge fund investors the Winklevoss twins are executive producing and incidentally have been making the rounds as the vox populi. (Presumably, the part where they get ripped on CNBC comparing the Robinhood trading blockage to being forced to dine outdoors in Manhattan will be omitted from this tale.) Incidentally, Mezrich has written a book about the twins and also sold the movie rights to that book before it was finished.

If you haven’t been following, members of the subreddit WallStreetBets did their homework and realised that the hedge funds had bought large short positions in the beleaguered video game mall retailer GameStop. The hedge funds had bet that the stock would go down; in large enough numbers, retail investors (the little guys) could bet against them and essentially force the prices up. They make money, hedge funds take a several-billion-dollar hit. (See a nice overview for dummies via WSB here.) Soon this led to another series of at least a dozen other stocks inflating, although many WallStreetBets users have accused Wall Streeters of using these perhaps less-shorted stocks as a distraction. Some also believe that hedge funds might be lying about selling short positions in an attempt to make Redditors flee.

We still don’t know how this is going to pan out, but here’s what we know: someone will get stuck holding the bag — traditionally that’s us — and hedge funds have vast back-up resources to draw from.

Customarily, a successful film is made anyway.

Anyway, Mezrich already laid out his vision mid-last week, tweeting “a ragtag band of redditers[sic] taking on Wall Street is a pretty good movie pitch, actually.” By Friday, Deadline reports, MGM had picked up the film rights. This morning, he’s picking tweets that should go in the movie and is also tweeting at pundits instructing them to cover the news of the movie which might go in the movie.

Will we watch? Depends if they can get Helen Mirren attached. Willem Dafoe will play Reddit (speculative), Elon Musk will play himself (confirmed, and yes, of course, he’s involved). Not sure who plays the guy who loses his life savings on this, but it’s an evolving story with lots of moving parts.