Oliver Stone didn’t want to make a follow-up to his 1987 film, “Wall Street.” At least back in 2006, when he was approached with the idea by actor Michael Douglas and producer Ed Pressman, Stone was against it. He revealed his initial lack of interest in the project at the Cannes Film Festival today during a press conference for the new film, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
Stone’s mindset changed in the wake of the financial crisis when he received a new script from Douglas & Pressman. The story of ‘Wall St. 2’ picks up infamous financial figure Gordon Gekko (Douglas) after he’s been released from prison. No one is there to meet him when he gets out and his estranged and idealistic daughter (Carrie Mulligan) won’t talk to him, but he has taken up with a young Wall St. buck (Shia LaBeouf) who — like a younger Gekko — has dollar signs in his eyes. From there starts a story of more greed and deception set amidst the recent financial crisis within New York’s financial community.
“It had to be done and the time had come,” Stone added today, feeling a committment to resurrect his now classic characters. Talking about the film today Stone spoke out candidly about the recent finanacial situation.
“It seems that we got drunk. In 1987, I thought it was going to correct itself, but it didn’t. It got worse.” His comments prompted a question from a journalist about how he feels about the American system today…
“I am confused whether capitalism in its present form can work,” Stone elaborated today, “It seems not – it seems extreme and unregulated.”
Complaining that wages for American workers are too low, Stone railed against CEO salaries who have created, in his words, “inequality and injustice.” He also expressed concern whether the recent U.S. government bailout of the financial system would work. “It was a triple bypass,” Stone said of the bailouts, “I think they put a stent in, but I am not sure they solved it.”
The always provocative filmmaker will also explore America in another new film, one of three documentaries he is working on. He said that the ten hour, “The Secret History of The United States” is the most challenging thing he’s ever made. Stone is also about to release “South of the Border,” profiling Latin American leaders Hugo Chávez from Venezuela, Evo Morales from Bolivia, Lula da Silva from Brazil, Cristina Kirchner and Néstor Kirchner from Argentina, Fernando Lugo from Paraguay, Rafael Correa from Ecuador and Raúl Castro from Cuba.”
Finally, Oliver Stone is also returning to Fidel Castro whom he profiled in 2003’s “Comandante.” He said today that he has interviewed the former Cuban leader for a new documentary.