Last fall brought a lot of buzz about plans for a sequel to Oliver Stone's 1987 ode to excess, Wall Street. But as recently as February 12, Stone said he wanted nothing to do with the film (previously called Money Never Sleeps). In an interview with MTV News he stated, "I didn’t want to do another ‘Wall Street’ movie. I think everything I had to stay came through.”
This week, however, it's become clear that something has changed the conspiracy-theory-loving director's tune, because he is now definitely attached to the project, as is Michael Douglas, who will reprise his role as the "Greed is good"-spouting corporate raider Gordon Gekko. (A role which won him an Oscar®, mind you.)
Last we saw of Gekko, verbal confirmation of his involvement in several market manipulation schemes was being secretly taped by his protégé Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), who was working with the Feds in order to lessen his own criminal sentence. The assumption was that Gekko would soon be hauled off to jail.
Fast-forward twenty years for Wall Street 2 (I liked the other title much, much better…). Gordon's up to his old tricks again, and this time his naïve underling will be played by… Shia LaBeouf. I am of course thrilled by this unexpected development and — because I spent over ten years working in the financial services industry — am particularly excited for this film. I'm hoping against hope that screenwriter Allan Loeb (21, Things We Lost in the Fire) will be able to rein in Stone's tendency to get a little preachy in his films… though since Locke felt that Oliver showed remarkable restraint with W., perhaps I have nothing to worry about. All I know for sure is that they better come up with another catchphrase to encapsulate Gekko's attitude about our nation's current financial crisis. "Bailouts are Beautiful," perhaps?