Dumb Money Writers On The Big Short Comparisons And Elevating TikToks To Cinema [Exclusive Interview]


You’re also attached to a movie version of “The Premonition: A Pandemic Story.” We were talking a little about the pandemic earlier, but from my perspective, it seems like society kind of wants to forget about the pandemic and basically pretend that it never happened. So does that provide a challenge for you?

Schuker Blum: Yes! As people who were reporters, we grew up worshiping Michael Lewis. I feel like the theme of today is we just we’re in this moment where –

Angelo: As the characters of “Dumb Money” would say, “Holy f**king sh*t.” How did we get –

Schuker Blum: Yes, I think we’ve gotten to work with, I think, a lot of our heroes, right? Or write about Jessica Fletcher. We’re adapting a Michael Lewis book. That was a lifelong career dream and he’s extraordinary. But yeah, I think everything you said holds true, and that book features some incredible characters.

Angelo: And also — I agree with you. Nobody wants to talk about the pandemic. I don’t think we really want to talk about the pandemic. We certainly don’t want to live in that world. But as with “Dumb Money,” as with any project we do, what we’re actually looking for is an emotional story and a human connection with these characters. And not just with the main character, but with every character that we’re rendering on screen. So your antagonist, your peripheral characters, they all need to be dimensional and they all need to have a real strong human pull to them. It was a challenge with “Dumb Money” because this is essentially a pandemic story. I mean, this is not a story that happens without people being locked in their homes, feeling so isolated and so small, and finding this outlet to come together and to become part of something bigger than themselves.

Schuker Blum: Every scene in “Dumb Money” touches on the pandemic in some way, even though we don’t use the word “Covid.”

Angelo: And the thing about “The Premonition” is that it is about, at its very essence, seeing something coming that nobody else sees. The very notion of a premonition. And I think that is really sticky, really timeless, and at the same time, so it feels so urgent right now, where people are waving their hands and screaming about climate change, waving their hands and screaming and feeling like they’re just shouting into a void. So that idea feels like something that we can hook into and get really excited about and write a Lord and Miller movie that maybe isn’t into the nitty-gritty of social distancing.

Schuker Blum: It’s also an extraordinary story about people who think differently. And that’s what we were drawn to. Like in [“Premonition” protagonist] Charity Dean, one of the greatest characters of all time.

Angelo: And not dissimilar from Roaring Kitty and from other true stories that we’ve adapted for the screen where this is an outsider, this is a misunderstood person, this is an underdog. This is a reluctant leader who finds themselves in extraordinary circumstances and forced to rise to the challenge.

Schuker Blum: But it is a challenge. And I think as screenwriters, we are drawn to that. If someone’s like, “Well, this is impossible,” we’re running to do it. And particularly stories that I think don’t necessarily seem cinematic from the outset, we’re attracted to the challenge of how to translate that for the screen and go back to historic works, like Capra films, and look at, “How do we update these things for our time?”

Angelo: Also, it just explains why we’ve been doing this for 11 years and could paper the walls of this room with scripts that haven’t gotten made. And why “Dumb Money” is our first movie.

Well, I look forward to seeing how you all pull it off, because I’m excited to watch the rest of your career as it moves forward. I mean, like you said, this is the first one out of the gate, but you’ve been going for a long time.

Schuker Blum: Hopefully, it’s not like 2035 by the next one. [laughs]

“Dumb Money” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

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