The Big Short Trailer Captures the Spirit of '08

Michael Lewis is one of the most prolific best-selling nonfiction authors in America, and the majority of his books have either been about the world of finance and business, or the world of sports. Two of his sports books (Moneyball and The Blind Side) have been turned into very successful movies; for some reason, though, there haven’t been any adaptations of his business books (be they "Liar's Poker" or "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt").

Until now, that is. Lewis’ 2010 book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine", which told the story of the handful of people who actually made money by anticipating the popping of the housing bubble in 2008, is being adapted as a movie, called simply The Big Short - with Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 & 2) directing and a top-notch cast that includes Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Oscar-winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Prisoners).

The Big Short film has now gotten its first official trailer, which you can watch, above. The two-and-a-half minute clip is structured in such a way to make The Big Short look like a heist movie, with a group of different investors all realizing around the same time that the housing market was overvalued and that they could make a ton of money by betting, essentially, on the collapse of the American economy. And given the subject matter, Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” is an inspired choice for music.

Brad Pit in The Big Short trailer

The trailer makes The Big Short look pretty promising. It’s got a great look and a dynamite cast, with Bale and Carell playing probably the book’s two most fascinating characters. Like The Wolf of Wall Street, and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street before it, The Big Short has potential to make high finance look fun and glamorous to audiences - even when its underlying message  is that greed is destructive and possibly evil.

The only reasons to worry? Director McKay is best known as a comedy director and Will Ferrell’s writing partner; although he co-wrote Ant-Man he’s never directed anything of this genre or scale. The machinery of collateralized debt obligations and other such financial terminology is notoriously complex and may not lend itself so well to a movie plot. And there’s also something sort of iffy about, in telling the story of an episode in which countless people lost all the money, making a movie that focuses on the few people who were winners.

Even so, there hasn’t yet been a definitive movie about the 2008 financial crisis - though Margin Call and the HBO version of Too Big to Fail come closest - and The Big Short could well become just that.


The Big Short comes out in limited theatrical release on December 11th, 2015, with a wide release set to begin on December 23rd.

Source: Paramount Pictures

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