The GameStop short squeeze of 2021 is the subject of an upcoming Hollywood movie. “Dumb Money” — starring Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman, and Pete Davidson — is set for release Oct. 20, 2023 by Sony Pictures.
The GameStop trading frenzy was celebrated as an underdog story for small investors who felt powerless and fantasized sticking it to Wall Street. And the movie’s logline suggests it will adapt this point of view: “A ragtag group of amateur investors, gamers and internet trolls bring Wall Street to its knees by reviving the challenged brick-and-mortar video game retailer GameStop, making it the first so-called meme stock.”
Rogen will play hedge fund manager Gabe Plotkin, whose Melvin Capital lost billions in wrong-way bets on video game retailer GameStop when retail investors conspired — through online forums on Reddit — to buy up as many outstanding shares as they could. This buoyed the stock’s price 2,000% and torpedoed hedge-fund managers, who bet on the price continuing to decline amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Offerman will star as Ken Griffin, founder of Citadel Securities, who invested $2 billion in Melvin Capital and was accused of instructing the Robinhood electronic brokerage to halt the trading of GameStop, and certain other meme stocks, on its platforms.
Both Rogen and Offerman — who previously teamed up 2014’s “22 Jump Street” and 2022’s limited Hulu series “Pam & Tommy” — are playing against type here. Judging from his persona on and off screen, Rogen seems more like a patron of GameStop than an investor in it, while Griffin seems too buttoned-up and non-eccentric a character to benefit from Offerman’s unique skillset.
One actor definitely not stretching his range is Pete Davidson, who will play a pot-smoking retail trader who benefits from the short squeeze. The movie will also star Paul Dano (“There Will Be Blood”) as Keith Gill. Known in internet circles as Roaring Kitty, Gill used Reddit to rally swarms of investors to artificially inflate GameStop stock. Sebastian Stan will play Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s co-founder.
“Dumb Money” is based on Ben Mezrich’s 2021 book “The Antisocial Network.” Mezrich also wrote “The Accidental Billionaires,” on which screenwriter Aaron Sorkin based “The Social Network.”
The same subject matter also informed the 2022 Netflix documentary “Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga.”
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