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WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS

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,” 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 realizing that Oliver 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 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 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.”

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 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 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 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.” 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?' Farrell remembers the filmmakers asking. "I was very impressed with the effort to make it very realistic.”

To design the costumes, Stone brought back Ellen irojnick, whose designs for "Wall Street,” and for the character of Gordon Gekko in particular, became iconic. 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,” 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, 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 Mirojnick. "Michael brought [then-Los Angeles Lakers coach] Pat Riley's hairstyle to the table,” she says. "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,” 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,” 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, be

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