Well, we didn’t know this one was coming: they’re making a movie about the former BlackBerry mobile titan, and it’s going to star Glenn Howerton from Philadelphia is always sunny as the company’s co-CEO, Jim Balsillie. According The Globe and Mailproduction wrapped this week, although it’s unclear when the film will hit theaters.
The film, simply titled Blackberryis based on the 2015 book Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry, by journalists Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish. According to its blurb, the book centers on “an unlikely partnership between a visionary engineer, Mike Lazaridis, and an abrasive Harvard Business School graduate, Jim Balsillie” – the two founders of Research in Motion (RIM), which would become later BlackBerry.
Canadian actor and comedian Jay Baruchel (knocked up and the voice of Hiccup Haddock in How to train your dragon) will take on the role of Lazaridis, but we have to say that we are very happy to see Howerton in the role of Balsillie. After all, who better to play an “abrasive Harvard Business School graduate” than the Golden God himself?
Considering how many tech movies and TV shows we’ve seen in recent years (including The stall on Theranos and super pumped on Uber), it makes sense to tackle one of the biggest and bumpiest rides out there. At its peak, BlackBerry sold almost half of all smartphones in the United States, but the appearance of the iPhone and Android wiped out its business within a few years. Now it exists as a zombie brand – its name is sometimes sold to OEMs to rebadge Android handsets and its own unsupported legacy devices.
According The globe, other notable cast members of the film include Michael Ironside, Saul Rubinek, Martin Donovan, Rich Sommer, and Carey Elwes. The film is written and directed by Matt Johnson. “Blackberry is the kind of film I never thought I could make in this country, but it’s a bright new day for Canadian cinema,” Johnson said. The globe in a press release. “Bold, director-driven cinema is back with all the might of the 1980s. Let’s go.”