JERICHO, N.Y., March 15, 2002 – In BACKSTORY: WALL STREET, premiering Monday, March 18 at 10:00 PM (ET), Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Darryl Hannah, director/screenwriter Oliver Stone, co-writer Stanley Weiser and others reveal how friction on the set helped an intense and timely film about the tyranny of greed.
WALL STREET, the tale of an ambitious young stockbroker who rises and falls under the tutelage of a ruthless tycoon, came to fruition in a year when America was captivated by a soaring stock market. Oliver Stone, fresh off a Best Director win for PLATOON (1986), had carte blanche to develop his own projects. He conceived the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a Wall Street veteran. Stone cast against type when he tapped Michael Douglas for the lead role of Gordon Gekko, the corporate raider who becomes mentor to aspiring broker Charlie Sheen. From day one, Stone was uncompromising with Douglas, pressing him to capture the essence of a self-centered businessman motivated by pure greed. Although Stone's tactics created tension on the set, he was vindicated when Douglas won the Oscar for Best Actor.
For Charlie Sheen, the role of money-hungry Bud Fox was unfamiliar territory. Sheen knew very little about the business world, and prior to the shoot, he spent four weeks in New York's financial district absorbing the lifestyle, lingo and energy of Wall Street traders. He was on more familiar ground in the scenes he shot with his father, Martin Sheen, cast as Bud's blue-collar dad. The two drew from their reservoir of emotional experience to connect with each other in one of the film's most resonant scenes.
As Stone readied the film for release, an ironic turn of events made his film especially timely and relevant. A mere eight weeks after hitting an all-time peak, the stock market plunged on October 19 in the biggest percentage drop in its history. Opening amid headlines of insider trading and stock market scandals, WALL STREET emerged as a gritty morality tale for the '80s.
BACKSTORY is AMC's award-winning weekly series that shines a spotlight on the defining moments in a film's creation. Cast members, directors, producers and other Hollywood players provide revealing inside "backstories" about the events that affected each film, its success and its stars. Executive Producer for BACKSTORY: WALL STREET is Kevin Burns. The episode was produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Van Ness Films, Foxstar Productions, Fox Television Studios and AMC. Jessica Falcon is executive producer for AMC.
AMC is a premiere 24-hour movie network dedicated to the world of American film. With one of the finest, most comprehensive libraries of popular films, and a diverse blend of original series, documentaries and interstitials, AMC offers an elegant and contemporary entertainment destination. AMC is a fully distributed network reaching over 82,000,000 U.S. homes (as of Jan. 2002) and ranking #16 in size among all 55 networks. Since its launch in 1984, AMC has been dedicated to deepening the movie experience for its viewers, featuring film-loving celebrity hosts and an increasingly visible, critically-acclaimed slate of original programming. AMC has more than doubled its original programming over the past 3 years and garnered many of the industry's highest honors, including five Emmy awards.
AMC is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a leader in news, sports and entertainment programming. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports Networks, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net. AMC is one of the assets included in the Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE:RMG), a series of Cablevision common stock. MGM (NYSE:MGM) owns a 20% stake in four of Rainbow's national networks – AMC, Bravo, IFC, and WE: Women's Entertainment.