Last week the internet watched with shock and awe as the WallStreetBets subreddit took on hedge fund managers by manipulating the stock market into an absolute frenzy. In a couple of years we’ll be able to watch it all go down once again, but this time in a semi-fictional format. Rights to the WallStreetBets story have already been sold to studio MGM, Deadline reports.
MGM’s purchase is actually to the rights of a book proposal called The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich, an author whose work certainly precedes his name. Mezrich wrote The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal — the book that was eventually adapted into the Oscar-winning film The Social Network.
According to sources familiar with the deal, Mezrich and his representatives put the book proposal on the market toward the end of last week; by Friday night, MGM had made moves to acquire the story’s rights. Michael DeLuca, producer of The Social Network has already signed on to be part of the WallStreetBets movie as well.
Netflix is also reportedly in talks to make a WallStreetBets movie with Mark Boal, writer of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, behind the screenplay. Noah Centineo is apparently attached to a "major role" in the film.
The WallStreetBets saga is just dramatic enough to make for perfect film fodder — and with the power of MGM, Mezrich, and DeLuca, it has the potential to be a genuinely compelling movie. Can we choose a title other than The Antisocial Network, though? Please?
The drama continues — MGM didn’t even wait for the dust to settle around the WallStreetBets drama before snapping up the rights for the tale. Actually, the drama itself hasn’t even ended yet.
After months of pushing GameStop stock buys on the forum, Redditors last week achieved an unprecedented peak in market manipulation. GameStop’s stock has fallen by nearly half since that peak — but it’s still sitting above $200 per share, up more than 6,000 percent since this time last year.
And GameStop was only the beginning, really: WallStreetBets has also sent the stock of movie theater company AMC skyrocketing, and others like BlackBerry and Nokia are still seeing vast manipulation from the subreddit’s 8 million members. One need only take a cursory glance at r/WallStreetBets to understand the drama is far from over.
Netflix, too? — Following reports that MGM had purchased the rights to The Antisocial Network, Deadline published a piece today stating that Netflix would also be working on an adaptation of the WallStreetBets drama. The Netflix version includes Noah Centineo, star of the company's hit film To All The Boys I've Loved Before.
Netflix hasn't officially announced its intentions and declined to comment on the film. According to Deadline, sources said "the intention is to use the GameStop episode as a specific way to shine a light on the phenomenon of how social media has leveled the playing field and allowed the masses to challenge status quo gatekeepers, for good and bad."
How will it translate to the screen? — Mezrich and DeLuca have proven themselves capable storytellers, especially in the intersections of technology and business. But the WallStreetBets fiasco is not going to be an easy story to tell via the silver screen. We have lots of questions.
The Social Network succeeded for a plethora of reasons, but it would’ve been nothing without its cast of characters — the Winklevoss twins (who, by the way, are going to be executive producers for the WallStreetBets film!) and Mark Zuckerberg were ripe for fictionalization and editorialization. The WallStreetBets drama doesn’t have that core set of players, really. How do you depict the masses of shitposters on a subreddit changing the Wall Street landscape?
The story, too, will need some honing — especially since the concept of an “ending” to the drama feels very far-off and abstract right now. There are ethical quandaries to deal with, too: will the movie cast the Redditors as heroes? Or will it abstain from choosing a side?
It’s going to be a long while before The Antisocial Network makes its way to theaters — which is good, because theaters are still very much closed right now. That gives Mezrich and company plenty of time to think of a less-cheesy title, too.
Update: It was reported after publication that there is a third r/WallStreetbets movie in the works. Sigh.