With the same impeccable sense of timing that inspired Oliver Stone to give us a dollop of W. just when we’d had quite enough of him, thanks, The Hollywood Reporter says Stone has signed on with Fox for a sequel to Wall Street. Short of having Gorden Gekko replaced with the little Cockney fellow from GEICO, I think it’ll be hard to script any scenario similar to the original that’s remotely palatable to the public in the midst of this meltdown. Michael Douglas is expected to reprise his role as Gekko, but unless he’s humiliated like Bernie Madoff, frankly, I’m not in the mood to watch him try to regain his status with the Masters of the Universe. And who’s rumored to be cast as the Charlie Sheenier prot√©g√© in the sequel? Shia LaBeouf.
The problem with movies that pretend to be cautionary tales about greed is the same sticky mixed message we’re given in war movies. It’s tough to avoid glorifying the thing your movie is supposedly warning against. Just as a recent poll of shows that conservatives don’t get the joke on The Colbert Report (deep down they believe he’s for real), a generation of hucksters looked up to Gordon Gekko in the same way Pacino’s Tony Montana was a hero to wannabe gangstas. Maybe cigarettes in movies are only seen as props for villains now, but they sure know how to make sucking down a lungful of carcinogens look cool.
I’d like to see Oliver Stone orchestrate a comeback with the kind of scathing cultural commentary he used to be capable of making. But on the basis of his last few films, I wonder where his erratic moral compass will lead him next. Whatever happened to Pinkville? Wartime atrocities not headliney enough? Or just not sexy enough.