Oliver Stone targets banks in "Wall Street" sequel

Fri May 7, 2010 10:20am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Director Oliver Stone turns his sights on the U.S. banking system later this year in the sequel to "Wall Street," his examination of 1980s excess, with Michael Douglas reprising his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko.

While in the 1987 film Stone cast the unscrupulous corporate raider Gekko as the bad guy, it is the big banks which are the villains of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," to be unveiled at the Cannes film festival later this month.

"The original '87 movie was about these bandits (like Gekko) who came into the system," the three-time Oscar winner told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It wasn't about the system itself, it did not question the banks. The investment banks were not playing the same role back then," he added.

According to Stone, in the real world Gekko's role was taken on by hedge fund managers and then by investment banks, something he opposes.

"Banks used to be boring, and there's something to be said very strongly for keeping them that way," said Stone, who has a reputation for tackling tough themes from the Vietnam war to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the 9/11 attacks.

He referred to the so-called "Volcker rule" proposal in the United States which aims to limit proprietary trading by banks.

"(This) is what our movie is a lot about, trading for themselves, for profits for themselves, and not for their clients. They (the banks) have lost their agentary function which was their original purpose," said Stone.   Continued...

 
<p>Hollywood film director Oliver Stone speaks to students at the New International School of Thailand in Bangkok January 25, 2010. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom</p>