Just days after its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, IFC films has today unveiled the first official trailer for Matt Johnson‘s BlackBerry, an adaptation of Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s bestselling book “Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry” which reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway.
Directed by Johnson, from a script he co-wrote with Matthew Miller, and starring a huge ensemble cast comprising Jay Baruchel (Goon, This is the End), Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Total Recall), Saul Rubinek (True Romance, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw), Rich Sommer (“Mad Men,” “GLOW”), SungWon Cho (“Anime Crimes Division’”), and Michelle Giroux (Blood Pressure), BlackBerry tells the story of Mike Lazaridis (Baruchel) and Jim Balsillie (Howerton), the two men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone.
Commenting on approaching the project after first being approached by Niv Fichman, the President of Rhombus Media, to create an adapation of the novel. Miller said; “It was challenging at first because the book had a lot of intricate details on business dealings and technology, which is a bit of a blind spot for us … We were trying to figure out who these men were and what motivated them, and how they
related to each other, to find our own point of entry to the story.”
Johnson is disconnected from social media and confessed to never owning a Blackberry: “Before we started, all I knew about Blackberry was that they were from Waterloo, Ontario, but I was really excited by that,” he says.
Despite the above, the cultural importance of the Blackerry, as well as its lasting legacy, was not lost on the filmmaking duo. Johson added: “The Blackberry was the status symbol of the early 2000s and at the beginning of the social media era, it made you part of a group. The BBM perfectly captured that, like you can’t talk to somebody on BBM unless you both have Blackberries, it opened up a new way of communicating, way before Instagram DMs or Snapchat.”
Blackberry opens exclusively in theaters this May 12, 2023, and in the meantime, we’ll leave you with the aforementioned trailer that reveals one of the most compelling business stories of the new century.