Adam McKay, the Chicago-trained filmmaker behind the “Anchorman” films and Funny or Die, has lined up a cast of all-stars for his dramatic film about the 2008 financial collapse.
Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and McKay’s “Anchorman” colleague Steve Carell head up the cast of “The Big Short,” based on a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis, Paramount Pictures announced Tuesday.
McKay has said the project will be a switch from his customary pursuit of laughs. “It’s not gonna be a comedy,” he told Collider last year. “It will be dramatic, but I wanna do some stylistic choices as far as how it’s presented, because I think the story is so epic and huge and I just want to make it as populist as I can so people can really enjoy it and it doesn’t get bogged down in the language, but yet at the same time people can understand it. It may be one of the more ambitious things we’ve jumped into, so I’m really excited.”
The book tells of contrarian investors who responded to the housing bubble of the early 2000s by figuring out how to “short” the market prior to the financial collapse. Production has begun in New Orleans.
The stars’ roles were not announced, but trade reports say Carell is playing a money manager with Gosling as a bank trader, Gosling as a hedge fund founder and Pitt as an investment strategist.
Also in the starry lineup: Melissa Leo, Marisa Tomei, Tracy Letts, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong and Finn Wittrock.
A longtime improv performer in Chicago, McKay went on to write for “Saturday Night Live” and then launch a successful filmmaking career.