We talked to Oliver Stone recently about his new film, Wall Street 2, and he had a few tidbits to share about the film, and how recent real-life events might affect it. Here's our mini-interview:
So is Gordon Gekko still working on Wall Street?
"No! He's an outsider. He's been in prison and he has to get back in. He has a different motive."
Do you feel that the first Wall Street accidentally helped to contribute to the financial crisis?
"It's true. A lot of people have told me that they went to Wall Street because of Wall Street. That's ironic, isn't it? I did think that bubble would pop back then; I was shocked by the continuing cycle of wealth through the 90s and the 2000s. It's a condition that's not over. But I don't feel guilty. The movie, if you really look at it, is clear. I mean, it does come down on the side of morality. And I do believe in financial responsibility. My father was a stockbroker for 40 years and I respected him. He was an honest man. Wall Street has an important role to play, and it can be a very constructive role in financing, in new business, in financing state bonds and pension plans. But the speculation is the mother of all evils. There have to be regulations. And we're not getting these regulations in place."
Will the Bernie Madoff scandal feature?
"No, Madoff is not a player in this movie. Madoff I consider to a be a sociopath; he was a crook running a Ponzi scheme. This is legal. What's going on now is legal. It's legal robbery."
You went to see Michael Moore's new movie last night. Were you interested in what he had to say about the recent financial crisis because of Wall Street 2?
"Part of the reason I went to see it was because I wanted not to repeat things. But his film is a documentary, and we're doing a dramatic story. We have different priorities: we're telling a story about human beings who are interlocked into a situation during the crisis. We hope it reflects what was going on.
"We deal with the big banks. Some of our actors are playing big bankers. We deal with the Federal Reserve Board. We show two meetings inside the Federal Reserve Board. But we're trying to show the the stakes in dramatic terms, so people understand. It's a very tough subject. The first Wall Street was not an easy movie, because it had a lot of technical detail, but I think we kept the emotions in there. The same thing is true about Wall Street Two. It has to be an exciting movie."
Wall Street Two starts shooting any day now, so look out for it late next year or early 2011.