Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon & Frank Langella
Director: Oliver Stone
Genre: Dramatic Thriller
Rated: M
Running Time: 133 minutes

Synopsis: Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf star in Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street 2.' Douglas is back in his Oscar®-winning role as Gordon Gekko, whose iconic "Greed is good" mantra and daring corporate raids made him a rock star of financial titans. Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated. He now has to play catch-up and redefine himself in a different era. He has to become relevant again. But a young, idealistic investment banker (LaBeouf) learns the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator - and if there's one place where you can redefine yourself, one place where your relevance is a deal away, it's Wall Street.

Release Date: September 23rd, 2010
Website: www.wallstreetmoneyneversleeps.com

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

In 2001, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), having served his time for securities fraud, money laundering and racketeering, steps outside the gates of a Federal Correctional Facility a changed man. No longer the king of Wall Street, Gekko is unshaven, his hair unkempt. No one is there to meet him, not even his daughter Winnie, from whom he is estranged, nor any of his Wall Street colleagues, who have kept busy during his absence amassing ever-larger fortunes. After eight years inside, Gekko is now alone, and an outsider.

In 2008 Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a smart young proprietary trader, is making millions at the venerable Keller Zabel Investments, run by Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), Jake's mentor. Jake's girlfriend, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), meanwhile, is supportive of his drive - fueled by an idealism she finds lacking in her father Gordon - to invest in green energy.

A wave of rumors that Keller Zabel is stuck with billions in toxic debt causes the company's stock price to suddenly nose-dive, and Louis Zabel is forced to fight for his company's life at a meeting of the Federal Reserve. When the government refuses a bail-out, Bretton James (Josh Brolin), a partner at the powerful investment bank, Churchill Schwartz, arranges a takeover of Keller Zabel for a fraction of its worth.

Now deeply in debt himself, his employment at risk, and suffering the loss of his mentor, Jake attends a lecture at Fordham University given by Gordon Gekko, who is promoting his new book, Is Greed Good? Gekko's speech describes how greed is no longer just good - it's legal - and how a malignancy in the financial system, with its rampant speculation and leveraged debt, will doom the U.S. economy.

Unbeknownst to Winnie, Jake seeks out Gekko and offers to help facilitate a rapprochement with his daughter, while Gekko offers Jake information as to why Louis Zabel was betrayed by his fellow bankers. An alliance is thus formed in order for Jake to avenge Keller Zabel's fall, and to help Gekko rebuild a relationship with Winnie. But has Gekko truly shed his reptilian skin?

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a story of money at all costs, and the people who will do anything to gain entrée into that most exclusive club of great wealth and power. At the same time, it tells the story of a man's desperate attempts to reconnect with his daughter - a connection threatened by his equally determined efforts to re-gain admission into a world that has left him behind.

The triumvirate team from the first Wall Street movie: director Oliver Stone, producer Edward R. Pressman and actor, Michael Douglas reunited 22 years later in New York City to film the sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

The film's director, three-time Academy Award® winner Oliver Stone, is one of today's most honored and successful filmmakers. For Oliver Stone, returning to the world he captured so memorably in 1987's "Wall Street" was not only timely but an opportunity to explore something new. "I think this film is a hell of an entertaining tale and it's fun," he says. "I don't think I would have enjoyed working on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps if it hadn't been a wholly original story. Twenty-two years later makes a huge difference. It was very fresh to me."

Michael Douglas is back in his Oscar®-winning role as Gordon Gekko whose iconic "Greed is good" mantra and daring corporate raids made him a rock star of financial titans. Michael Douglas' distinguished work as a motion picture actor and producer was recently recognised by the American Film Institute with its Life Achievement Award.

One of today's most popular young stars, Shia LaBeouf toplined the summer blockbuster "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Josh Brolin, a recent Academy Award nominee for his work in "Milk," portrays Bretton James, a ruthless Wall Street kingpin looking to mentor Shia LaBeouf's Jake Moore character. Frank Langella, an Oscar nominee for his performance as Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon," is Louis Zabel, Jake's boss, whose ill fortune propels Jake on a journey of discovery; Carey Mulligan, who won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for her starring role in the independent drama "An Education," portrays Winnie Gekko, Gordon's estranged daughter and Jake's fiancée; and Susan Sarandon, Oscar winner for "Dead Man Walking" and a four-time nominee, is Jake's mother Sylvia, who seeks help from Jake when her real estate business is derailed.

The Edward R. Pressman Production is written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, based on characters created by Stanley Weiser and Oliver Stone. Edward R. Pressman and Eric Kopeloff are the producers. Pressman's credits include the first "Wall Street", "Badlands," American Psycho," "Conan the Barbarian," "Bad LT.," "Thank You For Smoking," "The Crow" and "Reversal of Fortune." Kopeloff collaborated with Stone on "W," and was an executive producer on "Stranger than Fiction." Celia Costas, Alex Young and Alessandro Camon are the executive producers.

After the success of Stone's Academy Award-winning film, "Platoon," a searing story about the Vietnam War, Oliver Stone chose as his next project a story about the battlefield of American business. Released in 1987, "Wall Street" was the story of Bud Fox, a young stockbroker played by Charlie Sheen, who, in his drive to succeed in the world of finance, becomes corrupted by a powerful and brilliant corporate raider, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas.

"In making 'Wall Street,' I really wanted to see the war at home, so to speak, the war in the financial jungle of New York, which is my hometown," OliverOliverStone says. In fact, Oliver Stone's father was a stockbroker in New York, so the filmmaker was already well acquainted with the Street when he directed the film.

Given Michael Douglas' iconic link to the character that Oliver Stone created with Stanley Weiser, his co-screenwriter on "Wall Street," it may come as a surprise that Michael Douglas' casting as Gekko was unexpected. Oliver Stone explains: "Michael Douglas had never done a Gekko-type role at that time. He had played mostly romantic or comedic leads, and in 'Wall Street' he was interpreting a character that was frankly, downright nasty."

In 'Wall Street' Gekko gives a speech at a stockholders' meeting in which he extols greed as a positive force in American capitalism. "Greed - for lack of a better word - is good," proclaimed Gekko. "Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms--greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge--has marked the upward surge of mankind."

The speech is one of the memorable in film history and to this day, "Greedis good" remains an oft-quoted line in the media's incessant coverage of the current financial crisis. Michael Douglas's performance as Gordon Gekko earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor, while the character of Gekko has endured and become part of American culture and one of the cinema's great villains. Over two decades later - and after reprising Gekko for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - Michael Douglas marvels at the character's continuing impact. "Of all the parts I've played, Gekko is the one people approach me about the most," he says. "They get a kick out of Gekko - which was always a surprise to me because he was a true villain!"

But then, reasons Michael Douglas, "Wall Street is theater. People love stories about power; people are seduced by power. So I think that's a reason Gekko and the film 'Wall Street' have endured all these years."

"Gordon Gekko, through innumerable references in newspapers and magazine articles, has become an iconic character," says producer Edward Pressman, who produced "Wall Street," one of several films he would make with Oliver Stone. "'Wall Street' created the idea of the culture of that financial capital, so it actually affected the people who work there to behave and dress in a certain way."

Indeed, Gekko's charisma and take-no-prisoners approach to deal-making and wealth accumulation unexpectedly made him a hero to many. Not only did young men on Wall Street adopt Gekko's trademark slicked-back hair and suspenders, but they took his famous "Greed is good" mantra to heart.

"The film's popularity grew over the years," adds Oliver Stone, who was initially surprised by the way audiences embraced Gekko. "I made 'Wall Street' as a morality tale, and I think it was misunderstood by many. It's still amazing the number of people who came up to me over the years and said, 'I took on a career on Wall Street because of your movie.' Many of them are now in their 30s, 40s and were doing quite well on the Street -- as honest traders, I should add."

But even Oliver Stone couldn't envision the events that would make the Gordon Gekkos of the world look like small-timers - and ultimately lead to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. After completing "Wall Street," Oliver Stone went on to direct many more seminal films, such as "Born on the Fourth of July," "Natural Born Killers," "JFK," and most recently, "W," while the masters of finance became richer and richer. "What shocked me was this exponentially-growing accumulation of wealth kept going, into the 1990s and 2000s," says Oliver Stone. "The numbers grew and grew, so the millions of dollars became billions of dollars. And the greed of Gordon Gekko was swamped by the greed of the banks.

"By 2008, no more Gordon Gekkos were possible," he continues. "That character, that kind of buccaneer, was now gone, replaced by institutions that had once formerly been regulated. In the past, a bank was a bank, and an insurance company was an insurance company. In 2008, that all changed. The firewalls between these functions were destroyed by the deregulation of the 1980s and 90s."

As these real-life Wall Street developments unfolded, work began on a story and screenplay that would catch up with Gekko years after the events of "Wall Street." Oliver Stone was not involved in the film's development at that point, and it wasn't until early 2009, when he read screenwriter Allan Loeb's script for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps that he considered tackling a new film about the characters and world he had brought to life with "Wall Street."

"Allan Loeb had experience in finance, and he took an approach which encapsulated the last year of Wall Street and the world economy," says producer Ed Pressman. "It was on the basis of that script that Oliver Stone returned to the project because when he read Allan's draft he saw how relevant and exciting the film could be."

"The crash happened in 2008 and that made it suddenly very interesting, because you saw all the flaws in the system," explains Stone. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is really a reckoning with what happened."

Adds Michael Douglas: "This is an even more interesting time to explore this world, than the period of the original 'Wall Street.' And Eric Kopeloff, who produced Stone's "W" and came aboard to produce Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with Ed Pressman once Oliver Stone committed to the project, points out that, "If there was any time to reprise this, a story of Wall Street, now would be the time."

Allan Loeb, a licensed broker/dealer, and self-proclaimed "finance junkie," had been hired by Pressman to write on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in late 2008 (after award-winning critic and screenwriter Stephen Schiff had contributed several drafts), and thus did most of his research during the height of that year's economic meltdown. "I was meeting with big, big names of finance at the height of the crash," Allan Loeb remembers. "A lot of these Wall Street guys were going through spiritual moments, so it was interesting to talk to them then."

For his research Allan Loeb met with executives at hedge funds and major banks, and spent a lot of time with a former trader at one of the nation's largest firms. But what unnerved Allan Loeb most was the prospect of pitching the story to "Gordon Gekko" himself - Michael Douglas. Michael Douglas had expressed interest in reprising his award-wining role as Gekko, but only with the right story.

"I had this moment when I felt like [young "Wall Street" protagonist] Bud Fox because I was going to meet the great Gordon Gekko, if you will, and pitch him his own story," Allan Loeb recalls. "It was a bit nerve-wracking to go pitch Michael Douglas, whom I'd never met and who's larger than life and is a wonderful actor."

Allan Loeb's and Stephen Schiff's script for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps not only illustrates what happened to the American economy in late 2008, but also tells a compelling dramatic story, in which Gekko is a changed man after years in prison and an even longer stint as an outsider on Wall Street. Impressed with the script, Michael Douglas signed on.

The story begins when Gekko emerges from Federal prison in 2001, after serving eight years. While away, his wife has divorced him, his son has died, and his one remaining family member, his daughter Winnie, won't speak to him. She blames Gekko for the disintegration of their family. "As high-powered as Gekko was in the first picture, that's how low he starts in this one," says Michael Douglas.

"Gekko is humbled," says Allan Loeb. "He lost his family, and just as important for Gordon, he went into prison as a player. He was a major player in a big game, and he was the guy. He may have gone into prison with, say, 50 million dollars, and he got out of prison in the early 2000's with nothing in a world that's changed. Gordon was out of the game and he was irrelevant. And that to him was the most humbling thing."

Gekko's imprisonment taught him many lessons, says Michael Douglas. "He's had a lot of time to think. He can see much more clearly. He's bearish on what's been transpiring in the world of finance. Gekko is able to look at the problems objectively and he can see how screwed we are."

When Gekko is released from prison, he is determined to reestablish his position as a Wall Street power broker. But he's looking for more than re-accumulating vast sums of money; "Gekko wants to be acknowledged," Michael Douglas explains. "It's one of the reasons he's written a book."
Gekko is equally resolute to win back the love of his daughter Winnie - to put together the family that he himself was responsible for tearing apart. The dichotomy of Gekko's ambitions versus his commitment to reconnecting with his daughter provides some of the film's most dramatic and emotional moments.

To attain both of these goals, Gekko joins forces with Jake Moore, who is engaged to Winnie. Jake Moore personifies the brilliant technologically savvy individuals who by 2008 were making millions before they turned thirty. Gekko uses Jake Moore to gain access to Winnie - and Jake Moore seeks Gekko's advice in gaining the upper hand over Bretton James, a ruthless investment banker whom Jake holds responsible for his mentor and firm's destruction.

To play the role of Jake, Oliver Stone cast Shia LaBeouf, star of the hugely successful "Transformers" films, as well as the recent "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and the thriller "Disturbia." "He reminds me of a young Tom Cruise [with whom Stone worked on "Born on the Fourth of July"]," says Oliver Stone of Shia LaBeouf -- "The same drive, work ethic, and energy."

Shia LaBeouf was drawn to the role of Jake for several reasons, including his admiration for Oliver Stone's body of work. "I love 'Wall Street' - I'm here because of it," says the actor. "As a movie fan, you learn a lot watching Oliver Stone's movies. You get a lot of facts as well as entertainment."
In addition, starring in an Oliver Stone film was a change of pace for the young actor. "I've been making fantasy films for a while," he explains. "I wanted something with teeth, and Oliver Stone makes movies with teeth."

Shia LaBeouf describes Jake as someone who comes from a modest background, and whose tenure as a caddie for Louis Zabel, the head of the esteemed investment bank Keller Zabel, would lead to much bigger things. "Jake is a guy who came from nothing, in Long Island, with a father who's non-existent," the actor explains. "Jake was hired right out of business school and put into Keller Zabel as a proprietary trader, and starts trading his own account. He works his way up the ladder and becomes Zabel's right-hand man at a young age."

"When I took the movie I knew little of the world of finance - I didn't know what a derivative was, I didn't know stocks, bonds," he continues. "Oliver Stone said, 'If you want to do this you'd better get cracking [and do your homework],' and I walked into a brokerage house office and asked them to set me up an account."

Shia LaBeouf then dove into his research with zeal. After what amounted to an intensive course in finance at various investment and trading houses, LaBeouf made a modest investment grow exponentially. He also passed his Series 7 test, becoming a licensed broker-dealer.

"Shia LaBeouf had this unbelievable drive, wanting to learn as much as he could about this world," say producer Eric Kopeloff. "And that really impressed Oliver Stone."

In fact, Oliver Stone himself is known for his intensive research. "The thing about the first film was that it rang true to the most sophisticated Wall Street types," says producer Ed Pressman. "I think Oliver Stone's concern is that he's able to reach that level of authenticity so that the film can play in New York but also play in Peoria."

"The thing I learned about Oliver Stone immediately is that he is militant for credibility," adds screenwriter Allan Loeb. "His insistence on authenticity was very helpful and took the script and the project to the next level. When you see the movie, you say, this is Wall Street, but it's now."

As part of this research, Oliver Stone and his team visited investment banks, hedge funds, and met with some of the biggest names in finance. "We talked to everybody we could, including some of today's most prominent financial wizards and politicians," says the director.

"We were able to pick up The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and compiled a list of interesting people to meet," Eric Kopeloff recalls. "And it was incredible because most of those people were more than happy to sit down and talk with us, whether it was on the record or off the record, about the state of Wall Street today. Their openness had everything to do with their love of the original "Wall Street" and their love of the character of Gordon Gekko."

In the new film's look at Wall Street, investment bankers who, working on a global scale, make hundreds, rather than tens, of millions of dollars, supplant the Gekko-esque corporate raiders of the 1980s. The character of Bretton James, a partner at the powerful investment bank Churchill Schwartz, personifies that type of runaway wealth. Stone cast Josh Brolin, who had starred in the director's recent film "W," as Bretton James. "Bretton James, as played by Josh Brolin, is the chief antagonist in the sense that he is the new generation, forty years old, rising banker at the top of the pole," describes Oliver Stone. "He's very rich, very arrogant, one of four or five partners in a major investment bank."

Josh Brolin, who once worked as day trader, embraced the opportunity to again collaborate with his "W" director, Oliver Stone. "We work very well together," says the actor. "And I had a trading business for a few years, and I feel like I've done the research. I'm fascinated with the world of finance."

Bretton James' confidence and talent lead to success for himself and his company, including a takeover of Keller Zabel. "Bretton James very smartly takes advantage of a very weak situation with another investment bank, and acquires it," explains Brolin.

Bretton James had once locked horns with Gekko. Jake is eager to tap the latter's insights into the formidable investment banker's potential weaknesses, and thus avenge the destruction of Jake's employer and mentor, whose firm was also ruined by James' machinations. But Gekko's information comes at a price: he wants Jake to bring him back together with his estranged daughter Winnie - who is Jake's fiancée. "Jake works with Gekko against Winnie's wishes," says Shia LaBeouf. "Jake knows Gekko has a great mind, asks for Gekko's help in some high-stakes maneuvers. And Jake helps Gekko rekindle a relationship with Winnie."

To play Winnie, Oliver Stone cast a fresh face, Carey Mulligan, whose acclaimed performance in "An Education" made a huge impression on the director. "I called Carey Mulligan and said, 'I'd really love you to read this. I think you'd be great for the part of Winnie,'" Oliver Stone recalls. "And she was shocked that she never had to audition for the role."

"She's not had an easy road, really," says the young actress about her character. "Her father was notorious, and everyone knew what had happened to him and what he'd done. So her whole upbringing was just clouded by courts and her family splitting apart."

In response, Winnie has cut off all contact with her father and become a journalist for a politically progressive website. "She's gone completely the other way from Gekko and gone into a more altruistic way of living, and has proper values that he doesn't have," Carey Mulligan explains. "But she still has the fight that a Gekko has, as much as she doesn't want to have any interest in that world."

Carey Mulligan admires the film's degree of accuracy not only in depicting recent events on Wall Street, but also how the story presents the personal lives of the characters. "It balances out, so that when you go through the section of a big boardroom meeting, then you see what happens when they get home," she says. "It's wonderful that when we do the sort of human, emotional side; it's just as truthful."

Another woman in Jake's life - his mother Sylvia Moore - has become caught up in the rush to make quick money. "In the tradition of the 90s, she's become a realtor," says Oliver Stone. "Sylvia ends up going in way over her head and depending on her son to get her out." At first Sylvia tries to sell a house to Jake and Winnie, and is later forced to borrow money from Jake when her properties begin to lose their value.

OIiver Stone cast Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon to play Sylvia. "I always wanted to work with Susan Sarandon," he says. "I had admired her from a distance, and I never really knew her. And she was up for it and had the right spirit of fun."

Jake's father figure is also his mentor in the business: Louis Zabel, the respected head of Keller Zabel Investments. "I think Jake looks up to what Lou stands for," says Frank Langella, who takes on the role. "Jake was a boy who needed a mentor and Louis came along at just the right time in his life. And it's a very sweet, but very gently stated relationship. I think you have the sense that they care about each other."

Frank Langella describes the script as "extraordinarily well-written, and very intelligent about what is happening in the world." In fact, he feels the new film will hit home for more people than "Wall Street" did in the 1980s. "We are more sophisticated now than we've ever been about Wall Street players and bankers and insurance companies. So I think the movie will have even more resonance now in 2010 than 'Wall Street' did twenty years ago."

Another veteran of the world of high finance is Julie Steinhardt, a senior partner at Churchill Schwartz, to who even the powerful Bretton James must report. Eli Wallach, an actor whose career has spanned seven decades, portrays Julie Steinhardt. "I turned to Eli Wallach because I thought he'd be one of the tough old guard - and not necessarily on the up and up, either," says Oliver Stone. "With Eli Wallach, you sense there's a crime behind Julie's story, too."

Eli Wallach sees his character as someone who, having remembered the crash of 1929, can offer sage advice to his fellow bankers. "I talk about what it was like in the past," says Wallach. "Hoping that I'll guide them into some proper way in the future. And sometimes it doesn't work."

"What I think is marvelous about this movie is that we're talking about Wall Street now," he adds. "And it is a frightening thing that's happening with money and banks."

About the Production
On September 9, 2009 filming on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps began in a TV studio in midtown Manhattan with scenes of "talking heads" on a financial news network, the only day in a twelve-week schedule when the picture would not be shooting on location in the New York City area. Executive producer Celia Costas, who had served as locations manager on "Wall Street," notes a marked difference between filming in the city in the 1980s and in 2009. "In the mid 1980s shooting a movie in New York was an unusual activity," she explains. "Every aspect was like reinventing the wheel. Shooting 'Wall Street's' lunch scene at 21 Club was challenging and shooting in the board room of what was then the A T & T Building on Madison Avenue was unprecedented."

While much of the original "Wall Street" was shot on location, the key set of the trading floor at Bud Fox's firm had to be built. "We got twenty-five thousand square feet of finished office space and essentially created our own trading facility in that space," Celia Costas remembers. "No one would let you into a trading facility."

When scouting trading floors for research for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stone and his team were met with a warmer reception than they had been over two decades earlier. "We started visiting different trading firms, and we had this amazing reaction," remembers producer Eric Kopeloff. "As we would get to certain areas - these are very loud floors - there would be these pockets of silence that would occur because they would start realising that Oliver Stone was there. And seventy-five people in a room would stand up and start applauding for him."

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was then able to secure real trading floors for filming locations. Having been fans of "Wall Street," real traders were eager to appear in the new film. "We just walked into any number of real spaces and shot on the weekends," when the floors were not in use, says Celia Costas. "And we used many real traders. The feeling of being in a real trading room was terrific."

"I was amazed when I started scouting locations to see the number of people who are actually in this field, trading daily," adds Academy Award-nominated production designer Kristi Zea. "So what I really wanted to do was find the largest, biggest, most outstanding looking trading floors we could find." Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps filmed on trading floors at the Royal Bank of Canada at the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan, Creditex in midtown Manhattan, and Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey, among other locales.

"The trading floors have changed dramatically since 'Wall Street,'" adds Kristi Zea. "The technological advances that have been made are amazing - in terms of the speed of the transactions and the need for quick, immediate decisions and what the computer has done to the financial world."

Shia LaBeouf discovered during his research that not only has technology changed the business of investing, it has made the financial world more insular as well. "They have these private Twitter accounts, and they send information around that way," he explains. "For example, someone can tweet that a certain institution is going to jump two basis points that day - you just don't get that immediacy in a newspaper. By the time you read it in the paper, the information is old news."

The unending flow of information is also illustrated via the ubiquitous television screens that constantly update the market's fortunes. Many of today's most renowned financial commentators appear in the film via these "reports" and "commentary" staged for the film.

Like Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin visited trading floors, including the one at the New York Stock Exchange, which is not seen in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; the Federal Reserve has supplanted the Exchange as the film's key location.

"I went to the floor and talked to [traders], and the great thing about going to the floor was how it exists now," says Josh Brolin. "Because everything's communicated digitally, it can get boring down on the floor for them. So I got to hear all the stories of how it used to be, when these guys were knee-deep in paper, and writing down all the orders and looking at the calls and the puts and options. They said you could feel the buzz."

Among the many Wall Street executives and financial experts Oliver Stone introduced to the cast for their research were Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor and author, known as "Dr. Doom" for his prediction of the 2008 economic meltdown; the enormously successful investor George Soros; Sam Waksal, the founder of ImClone; James Chanos, the billionaire hedge fund manager; and Vincent Farrell, Jr., chief investment officer of Soleil Securities, who also served as an on-set consultant for the film.

"I've never read a script in my life, but I thought the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps screenplay was really good," says Vincent Farrell, who was asked to offer his expertise after shooting a familiar role on the first day of filming, that of a financial expert. "And to me it was very realistic." Vincent Farrell was then on set to answer questions regarding scenes that took place on the trading floors. "'What does a trading floor look like just before the market opens, when it opens, and after the market opens?' 'What sort of activity is likely to go on?' Vincent Farrell remembers the filmmakers asking. "I was very impressed with the effort to make it very realistic."

To design the costumes, Oliver Stone brought back Ellen Mirojnick, whose designs for "Wall Street," and for the character of Gordon Gekko in particular, became iconic. Ellen Mirojnick has had a long working relationship with Michael Douglas, having also designed the costumes for two other pictures starring the actor: "Fatal Attraction" and "Black Rain." While working on "Wall Street," Ellen Mirojnick says she found the real Wall Street to be publicity shy and traditional. "They were behind closed doors," she remembers. "It was very, very staid, and very conservative." For Gekko, however, Ellen Mirojnick envisioned something distinctive. "He was the villain and the hope was to make him as seductive and as powerful as possible," she tells it. "I wanted him to be more like Cary Grant. It was kind of a more thirties style [adapted for] the eighties. But then there was a handsomeness, elegance and grace. But to Wall Street, Gekko's look was flash."

Gekko's signature slicked back hair in "Wall Street" was Michael Douglas's idea, according to Ellen Mirojnick. "Michael Douglas brought [then-Los Angeles Lakers coach] Pat Riley's hairstyle to the table," she says. "Michael Douglas liked that look, and he said, 'Let me try it,' and he did. Everything fell into place perfectly."

In 2008, however, Gekko is not the man he once was, nor does he look the part. A convicted felon and Wall Street outsider, Gekko is now promoting his book, Is Greed Good?, in which he forecasts dire consequences for the economy as a result of rampant speculation on Wall Street. Accordingly, Gekko wears expensive, yet now much less formal, attire. "It's a comfy version of Gordon Gekko," Ellen Mirojnick says. "It's kind of comfortable, kind of sloppy. The shark in sheep's clothing."

For Shia LaBeouf's Jake Moore, and for Josh Brolin's Bretton James, both successful bankers earning millions of dollars, all the suits were tailor-made. "It's twenty-two years later [since the events of "Wall Street"], and it's an even wealthier world; it's big money," Ellen Mirojnick explains. "It's all high testosterone, so they all try to go bespoke. So we have a shirt-maker, we have a tailor."

Carey Mulligan's Winnie Gekko, on the other hand, wears clothes that are less ostentatious, befitting a progressive blogger. "Carey Mulligan's wardrobe is one of simplicity and one of ease," Ellen Mirojnick explains. But Winnie dons expensive garb - an Oscar de la Renta gown - at a scene that takes place at a gala benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where several of the characters find themselves in unexpected reunions, including Gekko's run-in with a former nemesis who appears to have achieved all the wealth and success that has eluded Gekko.

Filmed in the Great Hall of the former Cunard building on Lower Broadway, a classical space with towering Roman arches, the benefit, attended by New York's high society, illustrates the height of big money on Wall Street. "Oliver wanted the gala to be like the party at the Titanic before it sank," says production designer Kristi Zea.

"We loaded it up with beautiful twinkle lights and trees, and (cinematographer) Rodrigo Prieto had this wonderful idea of lighting all of the tables from underneath, and so you got the sense of these bubbles, all glowing," Kristi Zea describes.

Having worked with Prieto on his film "Alexander," and documentaries "Comandante," "Looking for Fidel" and "Persona Non Grata," Oliver Stone and the director of photography had a fluid collaboration on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, according to producer Ed Pressman. "Rodrigo has come up with some of the more elaborate ways of choreographing scenes in his very quiet demeanor, and I think the collaboration with Oliver Stone is like hand in glove," Ed Pressman describes. "The two of them work very improvisationally, which gives a life to it and a dynamic which is very hard to come by.

"I think on this film, Oliver Stone is in total command in a way that the maturity of his experience has made him a real master," adds Ed Pressman.

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps deals with issues of not only greed, but envy and excess," says Oliver Stone. "Envy is an important word. If you have fifty million dollars, that's a lot of money. That should satisfy your greed. But if you're not happy with fifty million dollars because your buddy is making a hundred million dollars - that's not greed; that's envy.

"I think the greed impulse is as old as the Bible," concludes Oliver Stone. "It's ingrained in man. And the only thing now is that it's become legal. It's a part of life."