Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series spotlighting the year’s most talked-about scripts continues with BlackBerry, a biopic of sorts charting the rise and fall of the OG smartphone.
Glenn Howerton, who is up for a Gotham Award tonight, and Jay Baruchel star in the pic written by Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller sourced from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book Losing the Signal.
Johnson directed BlackBerry, which scored strong reviews after its world premiere over the winter at the Berlin Film Festival. IFC Films released it in theaters in May.
The script centers on Mike Lazaridis (Baruchel) and Jim Balsillie (Howerton), who founded the Canadian company Research in Motion company to create and market the phone, among the first to have a keyboard and internet access. It became a power symbol in the hands of movers and shakers from Wall Street to Hollywood — until it wasn’t.
Johnson told Deadline at SXSW that the key to the script was finding a way to let the drama lead to the humor.
“What Glenn and Jay are doing in the film is so unique and, I don’t want to say bizarre, but it is not the type of film that anybody is expecting about a stupid dead cellphone,” he said. “… Real movies are always funny because people are funny. I’ve never been in a situation in my entire life that, even at its tensest, wasn’t at some level funny, and I think that most movies are dead and cold if they don’t admit that.”
The ensemble cast includes Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Rich Sommer, Martin Donovan, Michael Ironside and Johnson.
Click below to read the script.
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