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Dumb Money Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

In January 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, Redditors shook up the stock market when they initiated a short squeeze of the stock of the once-mighty mall outlet GameStop. Their efforts rescued a financially-strapped retail game chain and became a Robin Hood-like example of small-time investors who outplayed the seasoned managers of massive hedge funds at their own game. In a breathtakingly short amount of time after the event occurred, Hollywood decided to bring that very compelling and very dramatic story to the big screen with "Dumb Money."

The film is expected to explore the squeeze by adapting Ben Mezrich's book, "The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees." With an all-star cast, an acclaimed director, and the backing of Sony, the dramedy film will surely be an engaging experience and a concise retelling of recent, tough-to-believe true events. Here's everything you need to know about "Dumb Money."

When will Dumb Money be released?

Deadline initially reported on what would become "Dumb Money" back in January 2021 when MGM optioned the rights to Ben Mezrich's yet-to-be-published book on the GameStop short squeeze — despite the fact that the short squeeze happened in January 2021. By 2022, Craig Gillespie had signed on to helm the feature, along with Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo adapting Mezrich's material. Additionally, the star-studded cast joined the project throughout that year, with production continuing into 2023.

Sony Pictures Releasing and Stage 6 Films, with Black Bear International handling international distribution, initially planned for a theatrical roll-out to begin on October 20, 2023, possibly playing in a few major cities prior to national and global wide releases. The studios then changed course, locking down an earlier, theatrically-exclusive release date of September 22, 2023. That plan was tweaked again: "Dumb Money" will hit New York and Los Angeles on September 15, with more theaters added in on September 22, and a full and final wide release on September 29.

What is the plot of Dumb Money?

"Dumb Money" is expected to remain faithful to Ben Mezrich's well-researched, journalistic recounting of the GameStop push and the Melvin Capital hedge fund squeeze. Like other Wall Street-based films exploring recent financial events, such as "The Wolf of Wall Street," "The Big Short," and other great financial movies, the film will rely on multiple perspectives to represent the competing factions of Redditors, hedge fund managers, and the individual companies feeling the pinch of the maneuver.

The movie's synopsis from Black Bear Pictures reads, "A loosely connected group of investors and internet trolls take down one of the largest hedge funds on Wall Street as they fight against the GameStop short squeeze." More specifically, the film focuses on the story of Keith Gill, an Average Joe who gets the Game Stop ball rolling by investing in the company's stock. When ordinary folks start following his lead, the money starts flowing for everyone ... until the power brokers begin pushing back, leading to a battle between the everyman and the Wall Street elite.

Who is starring in Dumb Money?

A standout detail of "Dumb Money" is its sprawling cast of characters, many of whom are based on real, still-living individuals. Paul Dano ("The Fablemans") stars as squeeze instigator Keith Gill, Shailene Woodley ("Big Little Lies") plays his wife, Caroline Gill, and Pete Davidson ("Saturday Night Live") appears as Keith's brother, Kevin Gill. 

On the big money side, Vincent D'Onofrio ("Daredevil") portrays hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, superstar Seth Rogen co-stars as Melvin Capital Management founder Gabe Plotkin, and Nick Offerman ("The Last of Us") shows up as hedge fund manager Ken Griffin. Plus, MCU star Sebastian Stan came on board for the crucial role of Vlad Tenev, founder of the financial tech services company Robinhood, which controversially halted the acquisition of GameStop shares. 

Also in the cast are America Ferrera ("Barbie") and Anthony Ramos ("Hamilton") as composite characters, a newly-inspired trader named Jenny and a GameStop employee named Marcus, respectively. Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle") and Clancy Brown ("SpongeBob SquarePants") round out the principal cast. 

Who is directing Dumb Money?

"Dumb Money" is the eighth film from Australian-American filmmaker Craig Gillespie, who started his career in the 2000s. The filmmaker regularly moves in and out of different genres, with biographical dramas being the one subgenre that recurs most often throughout his filmography. His films "Million Dollar Arm," "The Finest Hours," "I, Tonya," and his work on "Pam & Tommy" and the Mike Tyson docudrama "Tyson" for TV are all based on real-life subjects and events, many of which feature numerous controversial moments.

Speaking with MovieWeb, Gillespie elaborated on why he was drawn to this particular tale. As he put it, "It was this one moment in all of our lives that hopefully we'll never see again. It was a generational thing that happened, isolation, COVID, the social discontent that was happening everywhere. The disparity of wealth, and not feeling that they're heard, it happened to be that GameStop became a rallying cry to vent all of that. It was a stock, but it could have been many other things. It was a way of really letting the 1% know how frustrated everybody is. That's what drew me to the project, and that's what I got excited about, to capture this very recent time in our history."

Is there a trailer for Dumb Money?

In July 2023, just a couple of months before the film's planned theatrical release, Sony unveiled the first official trailer for "Dumb Money." Judging from the brief clip package — jam-packed with character introductions and plot details that make the complicated, twisty, and well-populated real-life story accessible and appealing to even financial newbies — "Dumb Money" is as much a comedy of errors as it is an intense, high-stakes drama.

The trailer hints at the film's trajectory — the rise of Paul Dano's Keith Gill from a smart, shy, low-key guy trading stocks at home to support his family into an individual making as much as $5 million a day. Gill becomes a modern-day folk hero to his flighty brother and an audience of middle-class and working-class acolytes who buy in to his plan of squeezing the faltering stock of GameStop. From the perspective of others, particularly those leaving ecstatic YouTube comments and talking about the phenomenon on cable news networks, Gill ignites a class war, standing up to hedge fund managers and the Wall Street establishment. 

That old guard is left unnerved and undone, with Seth Rogen's Gabe Plotkin losing $1 billion on consecutive days and others' positions of power being threatened, until they fight back against those railing against the broken system. Gill ultimately must testify to Congress and explain how the whole dumb, money-driven scheme went down.