Gold is the most sought after commodity in the world. Entire civilizations have gone to war in attempt to acquire more of it. The “fever” it produces has been known to drive sane men mad in search of it and it’s caused “booms” throughout California and in the hills of the Appalachians Mountains back in the 1800s. To this day, people are still actively hunting for gold in every corner of the world, spending millions of dollars in the most remote sections of highly dangerous terrain just to collect a few hundred ounces of gold flakes.
That hunger is the focus of the upcoming movie Gold: One man’s quest and the lengths to which he’s willing to go to find this extremely valuable commodity. Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a middle-aged man from Las Vegas so down on his luck that he pawns his wife’s jewelry simply to finance his trip to ask geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) to help him discover the vast amounts of gold that he is absolutely sure is hidden deep in the jungles of Indonesia. Wells has more of a dream than an actual plan but as the trailer shows, a dream which clearly pays off.
Of course, all this newfound wealth begins to draw the unwanted attention of the FBI, tax officials, bandits and even the Indonesian government itself – all wanting to lay a claim to the nearly $30 billion fortune Wells and Acosta have uncovered. If the story about Well’s obsession and hunt for the gold looks familiar, that’s because it was written by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider writers, Patrick Massett and Jon Zinman. The first half of the films appears to be influenced by Humphrey Bogart classic film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, while the second half looks as if it could be pulling from The Wolf of Wall Street.
Like many actors, McConaughey has been known to throw himself physically into his roles, even losing an absurd amount of weight for his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club two years ago. For the role of Kenny Wells, McConaughey gained forty pounds, which is nearly impossible not to notice in the trailer. Director Stephen Gaghan told Vulture this about his performance:
I feel pretty certain that people are gonna be blown away by McConaughey in this film — it’s a complete transformation.
While the Washoe Mining Company in the movie is named for the popular California Washoe Mining Region in 1862, the rest of the story is loosely based on the true events on the Bre-X mining scandal of 1993. The Canadian-based organization was part of a larger conglomerate, with its stock trading on Wall Street at around a penny. However, after they announced they were sitting on hefty gold deposit in Indonesia, their stock jumped to nearly $300 in only three months. All that good fortune turned out to be nothing but fool’s gold as investigation revealed there was no gold and they had been falsifying findings for some time. It remains the biggest scandal in gold mining history.
Gold was written by Patrick Massett (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and Jon Zinman (The Blacklist), directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) and stars Matthew McConaughey (The Wolf of Wall Street), Bryce Dallas Howard (Pete’s Dragon), Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum), Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island), Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek Into Darkness).
Gold opens in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2016.