Hollywood is jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon.
Filmmaker Christian Cashmir is in pre-production for his feature film debut, “Bitcoin,” a comedy about two down-and-out brothers in Arizona who stumble across a Bitcoin wallet worth $20 million and try to sell it on the black market. “Bitcoin” is produced by up-and-coming indie producer Lauren Cribb and has TV comedian Theo Von attached to star.
“The plan is to start shooting the film in the last week of April in New Mexico,” Cashmir told MarketWatch. “But then two weeks ago Bitcoin went up to $19,000 and I thought maybe we should think about going into production faster.”
While the race to make the first cryptocurrency feature film might pale in comparison to the real frenzy surrounding Bitcoin, the recent gold rush, according to Cashmir, has made Hollywood stand up and take notice. “Any hot topic invariably leads to movie deals,” he said. “We would like to be the first feature film about Bitcoin so we’re doing everything we can to get the film out there.”
There have been several documentaries exploring the Bitcoin phenomenon including 2015’s “Deep Web,” directed by Alex Winter, best known for acting in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” alongside Keanu Reeves, who narrated the doc. Netflix
also got in the act with 2016’s “Banking on Bitcoin.”
But Cashmir says it’s time Bitcoin was given the cinematic treatment. “Our film is an entertaining comedy but it’s also so relevant in terms of explaining what’s going on with money and the disruption of technology,” he said. “It explores the good and bad side of Bitcoin, how it can impact the future, but we also show the dark side of some of the servers.”
Producer Lauren Cribb optioned “Bitcoin” from a script by Brent Craft who had written and directed her previous movie, “Lady-Like.” She signed up director Cashmir after meeting him at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
“The actors are interested in Bitcoin and some of the producers have invested in it,” she said. “It looks like we will be the first Bitcoin film. Everyone’s talking about it regardless of the movie but the fact it’s hot right now is something we’re going to spin to our advantage as much as possible.”
Other movie producers aren’t so convinced that cryptocurrency lends itself easily to a full-length feature. “I can maybe see a fictionalized movie about Bitcoin’s founder [Satoshi Nakamoto],” said producer and investor Michael Pritchett. “He’s mysterious and has never been unmasked — someone who created something so perfect that he didn’t have to maintain it.”
“But otherwise the problem with a film about Bitcoin is that unlike [Facebook movie] ‘The Social Network,’ there’s no easily identifiable antagonist,” he said. “It’s not like the government are the villains in the Bitcoin story.”
“A Bitcoin movie becoming a commercial success is a tough sell but it’s not impossible,,” says writer-director Heywood Gould whose credits include “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise, and “The Boys from Brazil” featuring Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck.
The plot of “The Boys from Brazil”, which was released in 1978, featured clones of Adolf Hitler and Gould said that film had to explain what cloning was to an audience unfamiliar with the concept. “It’s the same now with a film about cryptocurrencies. Many people in the audience would have no idea what Bitcoin is so part of the film would have to explain that.”
But Gould added: “The drama in the film could be about those drug dealers who use Bitcoin. Alternatively you could make it a cautionary tale of getting rich.”