Controversial movie director Oliver Stone is renowned for his hardline liberal views on American politics.
He has unflinchingly tackled raw events with films like World Trade Center and W, but now he’s taking on the men behind the world financial meltdown by revisiting a topic he covered more than 20 years ago with his film Wall Street.
He spoke to Metro about his timely sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
How did you update Wall Street?
That’s a 10-minute answer. Things like computers, globalization and the banking system on steroids. It’s crazy. Banks were kind of dull back in the 1980s, but by 2000 they had got into the debt business big time. They drove the economy into the toilet. We were living beyond our means, not just the banks, but the people, everyone.
Do the characters behave differently from those in the 1987 movie?
The old world was much more person-to-person. Now, you really basically trade with a computer. Also, you are in and out much faster. You don’t take long-term positions and that’s unfortunate. A lot of it is speculation. It’s a short-term process: you grab it while it’s hot.
The focus of the original movie ended up being on Gordon Gekko — who the public became fascinated with .
Michael Douglas was well aware of that and came back with a much bigger role than in the original. It’s really a human drama with a background of Wall Street — same old problems with love, trust, greed and betrayal that we have always had in our history, not just 1987, but in 2008.
How difficult was it making a film about a crisis in the midst of that crisis?
The research was complex. I mean the concept of taking credit derivatives, all that new jargon, it’s complicated. We didn’t want to overdo it, so we had to simplify it. We have complicated stuff in that movie. The Federal Reserve Board scenes alone have never been done in film. It was taking a complex thesis to making it smaller and simpler but true to what happened, so I think if you look closely at the background, you will see the events of 2008 were echoed in the film.