Matthew McConaughey Gold
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Édgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Rachael Taylor
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Running Time: 120 minutes
Synopsis: In this riveting drama inspired by the true story of the -90s Bre-X Mineral Corporation scandal, Kenny Wells (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey) is a modern day prospector, hustler and dreamer, desperate for a lucky break. Left with few options, Wells teams up with an equally luckless geologist, Michael Acosta (Golden Globe nominee Édgar Ramírez), to execute a grandiose, last-ditch effort: to find gold deep in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.
Release Date: February 2nd, 2017
About The Production
TWC-Dimension presents Gold, a Black Bear Pictures and HWY61 production directed by Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) and produced by Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game, All is Lost) for Black Bear Pictures and Michael Nozik (Syriana, The Motorcycle Diaries) for HWY61.
Directed by Academy Award© winner Stephen Gaghan, the film stars Academy Award© winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club,The Wolf of Wall Street) and Golden Globe© nominees Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone, The Girl on the Train) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Pete's Dragon), Corey Stoll (Ant-Man, 'House of Cards"), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Capote), Golden Globe© winner Stacy Keach (American History X, Nebraska), and a powerful ensemble cast.
The screenplay for Gold was written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman ('Friday Night Lights"), who also serve as producers. Executive producers are Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), Ben Stillman, and Richard Middleton (The Artist, I Love You Phillip Morris) as well as Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser. Key members of the production team include Academy Award© winning director of photography Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood, Syriana), Academy Award© nominated production designer Maria Djurkovic (Tinker Tailor), and Academy Aard© nominated costume designer Danny Glicker (Milk).
The film began production in Thailand, moved to Albuquerque, NM, then Reno, NV, and completed principal photography in New York City.
The global financial crisis was destroying the economy, with many terming it the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was 2008. Everyone was struggling--losing jobs, losing homes.
In Los Angeles, screenwriter/producer partners Patrick Massett and John Zinman stumbled upon an article about the Bre-X gold scandal of the 1990s, in which the Canadian company Bre-X Minerals Ltd. reported the discovery of a huge gold deposit in Indonesia, courtesy of a mining entrepreneur who'd teamed up with a geologist. Initially a mere penny stock, Bre-X soared with billions in enthusiastic capitalization.
Money was on everybody's minds now. Remembers screenwriter/producer John Zinman, 'A lot was going on in the country with the financial crisis and the 1% movement with the growing disparity in the country, and this story seemed to ring a lot of those bells."
So the screenwriting duo transplanted the notion to the US in the 1980s, creating the fictitious character of Kenny Wells, a Reno prospector with a loyal girlfriend named Kay, a brainy geologist partner named Mike Acosta, and a deep-seated desire to make something of himself. 'We pitched it to a lot of places and everyone passed," says Patrick Masset. 'But we loved it and believed in it and thought there was such a great character in Kenny Wells and such a great world that nobody had ever seen in modern times, although there were some elements of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. But this is so global."
The more they thought about it, the more they believed in Kenny Wells. Patrick Massett points out, 'We really love characters that are underdogs, that have to fight from the ground up to prove themselves and have something to prove, and Kenny is so colourful and so wonderful but he'd also hit rock bottom."
Kenny was getting older without success. 'You reach a certain age," muses John Zinman, 'and you reflect on the men you knew in your life growing up – my father, friends of my father, the idea of what it means to be a success in America, a man who provides."
So in 2009, Patrick Massett and John Zinman wrote Gold, a fast-moving, character-driven spec screenplay with a colourful plot full of twists and turns, all of it brimming with wit and personality as it spanned a sprawling global scope. Plus, it had a provocative mystery at its core.
The screenplay got everyone's attention, quickly making it onto Hollywood's Black List of best unproduced scripts. The writers decided that rather than auction off the script, they wanted to partner with a production company so they could stay involved. And they wanted a partner who responded to the themes that intrigued them.
'Every single person at some point has to go out into the world and make something out of themselves," reasons John Zinman. 'It explores ambition, ideas of self-worth, and at its core it's a story of friendship. These two guys"Kenny Wells and Mike Acosta-share certain needs. They both have the drive to be reconsidered in a more favourable light. They recognise something in each other – whether it's deception or collusion, the friendship is the glue that holds the other themes together."
From Patrick Massett's viewpoint, 'Kay accepts Kenny as he is, but Kenny wants to be better than that. That's a Western American theme in men – our identity is so attached to our material value and our title."
Suggests Patrick Massett, 'In a nutshell, it asks, what profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?"
Adds John Zinman, 'And it's about belonging! Kenny thinks, if these fuckers won't let me in their club, I'll buy their fucking club. So the need to belong is a theme that propels Kenny's character."
Producers Join Up
Patrick Massett and John Zinman found somebody who responded to those themes in producer Michael Nozik at HWY61, who read the script in 2010, optioned it, and began developing the project with them.
Suggests Michael Nozik, 'Kenny Wells is a classic American character who goes from rags to riches, to rags to riches again. It's a terrific dramatic adventure story with an iconic character. It seems like the reinvention of Willy Loman in a more modern-day setting."
Indeed, Death of a Salesman was one of the screenplay's inspirations and a movie discussed more during development. 'Willy Loman is about the dream of being a great man," says Patrick Massett. 'I don't think we get as dark as Arthur Miller with Willy Loman, but there's certainly that broken American dream."
Another influence was Glengarry Glen Ross. Points out John Zinman, 'Jack Lemmon's character in Glengarry Glen Ross – that humanity, the slight desperation beneath his bonhomie, that story was definitely a touchstone for us and he was a touchstone."
Directors responded to the script"among them, Michael Nozik's partner Paul Haggis, then Michael Mann, but the financing didn't come together.
Then Black Bear Pictures founder Teddy Schwarzman expressed interest in partnering on the project, and began talks with Michael Nozik, Patrick Massett, and John Zinman. In 2012, Black Bear became officially involved.
Recognizes Teddy Schwarzman, 'Everything starts with a screenplay that captivates you. For me, the characters were so rich, the world was so diverse, but ultimately thematically it was a story about the American dream. It's a story about what it takes to achieve that dream – about the lengths to which you will go and the things you will sacrifice. I think that's the struggle that every American feels and everybody across the world feels. While Kenny Wells is very distinct in his mannerisms and his style of doing business, I think there's a little bit of Kenny in everybody and there certainly was in myself, and I was just captivated with the story and wanted to bring it to the screen."
It all crystallized for Teddy Schwarzman, who points out: 'It does hearken back to some great films like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Man Who Would Be King. There's something classic about the storytelling here and the characters, and yet at the same time it's completely contemporary despite being in the 1980s. It's themes that we're still dealing with today, and issues that we all struggle with in our daily lives – greed, ambition, betrayal, honesty, hope, futility, desperation, it's all here. It's a wild ride that takes you from the small mining town of Reno to the heart of the Indonesian jungle to the board rooms of Wall Street, where everything that you think you know, you may not."
Teddy Schwarzman became an avid proponent of the project, and wouldn't give up. 'We bought the script outright in 2014," he remembers.
Patrick Massett and John Zinman saw new momentum mounting, with Patrick Massett noting, 'Teddy Schwarzman's a trooper. He fights. He's got passion. He reminds me of the old-school Hollywood producers. He gets behind the projects he believes in and he doesn't let go. It's rare and special. He's a very special producer. A lot of times, producers just follow the money. They gravitate to the projects where money is flowing. Teddy Schwarzman pushes the projects he loves to the money, so they get made."
Matthew Mcconaughey Becomes A Gold Producer
Around now, Matthew McConaughey expressed interest in Gold. Recalls Teddy Schwarzman, 'Matthew McConaughey got involved through a great deal of luck, to be honest. We were very much thinking of going to a director first, but the script got out into the ether and Matthew McConaughey read it and there was something he responded to in a very personal way to the character of Kenny Wells."
The actor had movies already booked out ahead for several months, but he wanted to join Gold as its star and a producer.
Explains Matthew McConaughey, 'It was one of the few scripts that I said, I have to do this. I have to be this guy."
Specifically, Kenny Wells reminded Matthew McConaughey of a fellow named Chicago John who his father had introduced him to briefly in 1987 in Texas. 'My dad took me the day before Christmas to Wal-Mart to get some stocking stuffers. On the way, he pulled over behind this abandoned shopping strip mall. There was this old white van down there and out of that white van came this guy, Chicago John. In the back of that van, he had washing machines, dishwashers, old microwaves, telephones, gadgets, all kinds of shit," recalls Matthew McConaughey. 'My dad goes over there and swaps some cash. My dad gets back in the car and says, Here, here, and wraps this thing up in some paper towels and says, put that in the glove compartment." After driving away, his dad let him unwrap the purchase. 'And in there was this silver and gold watch. He goes, `God damn! This is a $24,000 Rolex made of titanium and I just bought it for four grand!'"
Matthew McConaughey explains, 'And when I read this thing about Kenny Wells, it had who I thought Chicago John was, the story I had created for him over the years, and a little bit of who my father was. My father invested in a diamond mine in Ecuador. There were no diamonds in Ecuador! He got over there and got his machete and hacked through the jungle. We always used to like to say to dad, Boy, if it was a shitty deal, he wanted in. He'd rather that it be a shitty deal but work with some really fun people and have it be an adventure, than have it be a really good deal and work with a bunch of stiffs. And so, in my impression of who Chicago John was and who my dad was at that time, there is a whole lot of Kenny Wells."
The way Matthew McConaughey perceives Kenny Wells is, 'Kenny is a great big dreamer. He's got a lot of dreams. When we meet him, he's at the bottom of the barrel; he's not doing too well. He took over his father's company which was very successful and he's run it into the ground. He literally gets drunk enough that he has a vision. He has a dream one night that there is gold over in this place that he's been to some years earlier, and he's brave enough to follow-up on that dream." Overall, Matthew McConaughey contends, 'The story for me is really about what a man like Kenny Wells will do to keep his dreams alive. How far will he go? And he will go all the way."
As far as producing, Matthew McConaughey says, 'It was very important to me because I understood this story and this character that I wanted to be part of how the ship sails, where we go, what direction we head, from finding the director to all the characters' stories and relationships. I wanted to make sure I had a creative hand in that, at least to the approval standpoint."
Writer/producers Patrick Massett and John Zinman had not envisioned Matthew McConaughey in the role when writing it, but, says John Zinman, 'Once Matthew McConaughey entered the conversation, it was like a light bulb. He has the right energy!"
Director Stephen Gaghan Comes Onboard
Who to direct? Stephen Gaghan, the writer of Traffic and writer/director of Syriana, had certainly proven his cinematic prowess with global material dealing with current events.
'When Stephen read the script and came to us," Teddy Schwarzman remembers, 'he just knew the characters. He simply understood the world, understood the characters, and understood the struggle – the struggle to matter, the struggle to prove yourself, not about how much money you can make, but about the impact you can have in the world and what that says about yourself. And it became a personal story for him as well."
Producer Michael Nozik already had a relationship with Stephen Gaghan, having been a producer on Syriana, 'So I knew he was particularly good at handling stories that have ambiguity in them. He loves to live in the world of ambiguity. And this is a story with essential ambiguity. Is the lead character guilty or innocent? Is he somebody you love, somebody you can be engaged with? Stephen Gaghan has an interest in big themes, and themes about the American experience, and in some ways this is a story that reinvents itself."
As for movie inspirations, 'We all talked about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre as an archetype – you go out in the desert and the blindness of gold and the ambition of greed blinds people to their own desires, and makes people do crazy things that aren't part of their personality. Kenny is somebody who is at times blinded not by greed, but by the ambition to succeed," reasons Michael Nozik. 'Stephen Gaghan was very understanding of this character as an archetypal American. He's very specific but he lives in the bigger realm of an archetypal character, a Willy Loman, who has become archetypal in American literature and the American experience – the salesman that won't ever die."
The essential struggle to make a living resonated too with Teddy Schwarzman, who observes, 'There's elements of truth in movies like Glengarry Glen Ross, Wall Street, Boiler Room even, where you see art imitating life and our Three Greenhorns was very indicative of that: people who had been hit by the stock crash of -87, people who were trying to find their way through the world who believed that they were entrepreneurs who could find a way to succeed. What they were doing is no different than what people in lots of different industries who were hit by economic decline were trying to do, which is survive and thrive."
Assesses executive producer Ben Stillman, 'Gold is a script that required a certain delicacy and intelligence while also being really fun. Steve Gaghan totally understood that from the beginning. Part of his pitch was that the script would take care of itself on the intelligent side, while he would bring this energy and understanding of the relationships at the core, whether it would be Wells and Acosta and that buddy relationship, which he did great work to make even realer, or the relationship between Kay and Kenny, which is the central part of the movie, really the heart of it."
Matthew McConaughey had his own questions for Stephen Gaghan: 'I wanted to find out, as a producer and actor, do we have the same measure and threshold of what we consider excellence? Of what is a good scene, of what is a really good take? Of what is a really good choice for who could play Acosta or Kay or someone else? And do we have the same sense of humour? You know, behavioural humour. Kenny Wells is a really funny guy. He has his own moments where he's trying to be his own standup comedian and tell his jokes, but it's mainly real behaviour from who the guy is. And another sensibility is, do you have a similar sense of what's cool? And by that I mean, obviously trying to be cool is not cool. Characters and people that know who they are, for right or for wrong, that's cool."
Stephen Gaghan joined the project in 2014. Matthew McConaughey worked with him on fine-tuning scenes, as when Kenny and Acosta go to Danny Suharto. Matthew McConaughey reasons, 'It's their last chance! It's like it's fourth and one from our own one-yard line, and we have to throw a Hail Mary to get this deal and to get him to come on board and be a partner. What was written was originally a nice page of dialogue where Kenny sits down and says a very out of place joke about Cadillacs and pussy and stuff, and Mike thinks, oh geez, Kenny spoke out of tongue, we're gonna lose the deal. Then Danny loves it. He goes, I love Cadillacs! I actually have a Cadillac."
Matthew McConaughey remembers, 'I told Stephen Gaghan, we've seen Kenny use that version of salesmanship throughout the story. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This being fourth and one from our own one, something else has to happen! The stakes have to be higher. It has to cost more. It has to be harder to pull it off. Stephen Gaghan came up with the idea that Danny owns a tiger."
Director Stephen Gaghan
DirectorVision, first cousin of WonkaVision…a few thoughts on the last two years.
I was lucky to have real producers: Michael Nozik, Teddy Schwarzman, and Ben Stillman. Michael was involved early in the process with the writers. I'd known Michael from Syriana where we went on another huge adventure. Teddy Schwarzman acquired the script, planted a flag in the sand, and said, 'we are making this picture." Old-school producing, baby. These three guys willed this picture into existence. Real vision. They are making the kinds of films that studios used to make, inhabiting a pre-comic book movie world. Teddy Schwarzman is a kind of David O. Selznick – he'll question where you put the commas in the script, in fact he'll question everything. And this process really refines and elevates. All you want as a director is people who make you better. Teddy is a force. With great taste and his own vision. And he has absolutely brilliant people working with him. Ben Stillman in particular may very well be the future of cinema. They're so good on story and script, and equally adept in the editing room. True partners on a long, complex journey. Script/Story
If you meet Patrick Massett and John Zinman you'll think immediately the big guy is the brawler and the smaller guy is the poet. Then you'd have it backwards. Or maybe they're both brawlers and poets. They did great work for years on 'Friday Night Lights". I knew them long before I got a look at Gold. They'd say 'we're writing a script on a gold prospector, modern day. I'd say that's a great idea. They'd say, oh Michael Mann is directing it. I'd say, lucky you. When I finally got my eyes on it, the films that leapt to mind weren't just Treasure of Sierra Madre, and Wages of Fear, the classics of adventure storytelling with a point, but films like Midnight Cowboy, and The Last Detail, in other words my favourite films. Inspiration
The overlooked John Schlesinger, one of my favourite filmmakers. He'd tell these great stories, often character studies, but at the same time give you a feeling of time and place that never leaves you. Seems like the point of filmmaking, at least one of them, is to capture what it feels like to be alive at a certain time in a certain place. In Gold we have Reno-late 1980s. I'd never been to Reno in the late -80s, but I wanted to go there. I really did. Think about those great Schlesinger films he knocked out right out of the box – Billy Liar, Darling, Bloody Sunday, Midnight Cowboy – brilliantly entertaining character studies. How would Schlesinger approach Kenny Wells, down at the heels Reno, Nevada, the mining business, the 1980s? Narrative Device
Matthew McConaughey's character, Kenny Wells, is telling the story, narrating the film, but he's also trying to get himself out of hot water. Is he telling the truth? Is he reliable in this role of narrator? There are two twists in this film, at least two, that you will not see coming – and part of that fun is wondering if Matthew McConaughey is telling you everything he knows.
My first conversations with the production designer, Maria Djurkovic, were about colour palette. Well, actually my first conversations were about her genius design for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the Thomas Alfredson film… the torture scene where there is flowered wallpaper. So after we talked about that, we talked about the idea of gold as defining thematic element in every frame of the picture. Maria Djurkovic lives for colour, colour as theme, colour as cohesion. We created a database of thousands of photos of 1980s Reno and New York City, of Jakarta and Borneo mining operations. We spent weeks pouring over them. We wanted something real but pushed. Life plus 10%. The French have an expression for a certain type of beauty they call pretty/ugly, that's almost the highest ideal. That's what we wanted for our world: pretty/ugly, real but beautiful, tobacco and gold.
The great Robert Elswit shot Gold. He also did There Will Be Blood, Punch Drunk Love, Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Michael Clayton. On and on. The important conversations we had were about making Kenny seem like a real person. To never let the camera get between the audience and Kenny. We designed an approach using three different formats, for the different parts of Kenny's life we were inhabiting. We used 35mm film and an anamorphic lens set for his 'dream." We used the digital Alexa with an anamorphic lens set for his non-dream life in Reno, his fall from grace. Then we went to a spherical lens set to capture the feeling of Kenny being interviewed in his hotel suite. The hot seat, singing for your life, the audience is a fly on the wall feeling. Nobody can light an interior the way Robert Elswit does. We made the interiors of the Reno bar look like nighthawks and then removed the colour. It's a laborious process that hopefully makes some indelible images.
You could make a movie of the production of Gold. We had floods, rock slides, giant spiders, snake wranglers, and an almost unprecedented monsoon in the jungles of Thailand. Day two of shooting we lost 75% of our sets with two rivers connected. The roof of our main set was six feet under water. Rain cranes washed away. Everything not tied down headed for the sea. All of our river and jungle locations were lost. The river was no longer navigable. It rained like you've never seen rain. The water buffalo were very content. Gold itself was an incredible adventure. Music
Daniel Pemberton who did incredible work on Danny Boyle's Jobs, wrote the score. He used the NYSE bell for inspiration. Discovering it hammers in G minor at an unbelievably solid 127 beats per minute. He told me, 'it's astonishing how well its tempo fits the pace of the film." He threw beats against it, crazy rhythms, basslines - they all worked amazingly well. It was exactly the right sound and the right speed to propel us through Kenny's journey. Not only that, he twisted it. Slowed it down, sped it up. Played it at multiple pitches and let the rhythms collide. Speeded up it sounded like pick-axes from an actual mine. Slowed down it sounded like the death knell for a man running on borrowed time. It was the starting point for how he wrote and explored many aspects of the story.
Then we recorded using all kinds of unusual instruments - from rare and unusual metal percussion (everything from small metal pans to large oil drums) to specialist flutes and guitars. There were weird gongs, bell plates – huge sheets of metal that resonate when stuck with a hammer - kanuns, even dried lemur toenails used alongside a large orchestra. Through research with specialist bell makers he even discovered the existence of a solid gold gong commissioned by a famous artist, which sadly, didn't sound as good as it looked. Strangely apt considering the story we were telling.
The dream, my dream, was to have a song like the great Harry Nilsson song in Midnight Cowboy, 'Everybody's Talkin'." That fits the film that somehow IS the film, becomes synonymous with the film. I'm super lucky I'm friends with Brian Burton, otherwise known as Danger Mouse. We have Thanksgivings together, deep fry turkeys. We're both southerners. He's from Georgia and I'm from Kentucky. We've been friends a long time. Anyway, I'd been pestering the composer to help me write a pop song. We got together in London, me clutching two sheets of lyrics I'd written, one for a male vocalist, one for a female. Daniel (the composer) saying, 'I don't have time to do this." Me humming tunes at him. Him saying that's shite. Finally, just to get rid of me, he picked up his guitar and played some chords. They were pretty inspired. We hacked together a rough of the song. And I brought the mess to Danger Mouse.
Remarkably he thought it had some potential. We got together at his house and he asked me who I thought should sing it? Before I could answer he said, 'there's only one person who can sing it and that's Iggy. His voice is the voice of Kenny Wells. He sounds like the film looks." It was genius inspiration. It couldn't be anyone else. Brian picked up the phone and called him. A couple weeks later Brian and I squirreled away in a hotel in Miami with a bunch of laptops and we worked on finishing the song. It was magic, just magic, watching Danger Mouse work. Iggy came aboard and spun the song in the way that only a legend can do it. Iggy Pop, the man invented punk rock. The most down to earth, smart, amazing artist you could ever meet. The man who was partners with David Bowie, who wrote and sang The Passenger, who wrote and sang all those classic Stooges songs, and like our character of Kenny Wells, a man who has been through it, been through it and somehow triumphs. There's nothing better than watching Iggy Pop sing a song you helped create.
Dimension - Bob Weinstein.
Guys, can we be serious for a sec and talk about Bob Weinstein. The man has the guts of an artist. He's a real filmmaker. His instincts in the editing room are amazing. He's supportive. A pro. And great company. Let's just face it: when you've been as successful as Bob Weinstein for as long as Bob Weinstein has been successful, it's no fucking accident. And he has great people working with him. I love working with this company.
With a prominent star and director attached, and Black Bear Pictures arranging the financing, now Gold mobilised quickly. The project went into preproduction in early 2015.
Director Stephen Gaghan held a Skype interview with production designer Maria Djurkovic in London, hiring her on the spot. Stephen Gaghan sent costume designer Danny Glicker the script, Danny Glicker having worked with Matthew McConaughey previously on The Sea of Trees and We are Marshall.
Stephen Glicker joined Gold, noting, 'Stephen Glicker has an insight and a worldview that is such a unique voice in American cinema and also part of the larger conversation about the political and social world we live in." Robert Elswit, who had shot Syriana, became the cinematographer.
In January 2015, it was announced that Black Bear Pictures was financing Gold, and had arranged for CAA to broker domestic rights and for Sierra/Affinity to handle foreign sales. By February, rights to Gold had already sold in more than 30 territories.
The international appeal was further enhanced when Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (Carlos, Joy, Point Break) was cast as geologist Mike Acosta, in March.
In late March, The Weinstein Company-Dimension beat out rival bidders to acquire US rights to Gold in an impressive deal with a guarantee to market a wide release on at least 2,500 screens. Locations were scouted, with production deciding the Indonesia portion of the movie would be filmed in Thailand; the Reno scenes would be shot in Albuquerque and Reno; and the New York scenes would be shot on location in New York. Production quickly ramped up, with production offices opening simultaneously in the different locations for a 55-day overall shoot.
The varied locations represented environments both practical and metaphorical. Explains producer Teddy Schwarzman, 'Reno is our world, our baseline. This is where the characters exist as they actually are. The jungle of Indonesia is the hope, it's the adventure, it's the possibility, and it's the other. New York takes us to a whole new world of excess, greed, and high society, where our characters may or may not fit in but find a way to navigate within that world."
Filming began in early July 2015 in Thailand.
A Powerful Ensemble Cast
Gold stars Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar) as the struggling Kenny Wells and Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramirez (Carlos, Joy, Point Break) as the mysterious Mike Acosta.
Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help) plays Kay, Kenny's longtime girlfriend who has supported him through thick or thin, but whose capacity and loyalty are tested as Kenny's hunt for gold pushes their relationship to its breaking point. Corey Stoll (Ant-Man, 'House of Cards") appears as the ambitious Wall Street go-getter Bryan Woolf at Brown, Thomas, with Bill Camp (Black Mass) playing his senior colleague Hollis Dresher.
Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four) portrays FBI Agent Jennings, whose insistent interrogation of Kenny Wells prompts the narrative of the movie. Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Capote) plays Mark Hancock, the richest mining mogul in the world.
Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (American History X, Nebraska) plays the venerable Clive Coleman, who knew Wells's father and who runs Reno's Coleman and Mead Capital Group. Working for Clive are Lloyd Stanton, portrayed by Joshua Harto, and Henry Andrews, played by Stafford Douglas.
Based in Reno are the faithful threesome that head Kenny's sales team at the Three Greenhorns: Macon Blair plays Connie Wright, Adam LeFevre plays Bobby Burns, and Frank Wood plays Scottie Nevins.
In New York, fast-rising Australian actress Rachael Taylor portrays the temptress Rachel, while Bhavesh Patel plays banker Owens, Michael Landes plays banker Binkert, and 'Veep"'s Timothy Simons plays banker Jackson"the latter three making the journey into the Indonesian jungle to evaluate the gold-mining operation with their own eyes.
The Cast Makes The Characters Their Own
Matthew McConaughey reasons of his role, 'It's a lot about lineage for Kenny, about family, about his father, about resurrecting the company, about reconnecting the chain that Kenny broke through his family lineage and keeping this company alive. So he's got a lot of wonderful pride. He wears his heart on his sleeve."
Matthew McConaughey embarked on a daunting physical transformation for the role, beginning with gaining weight.
Reasons Matthew McConaughey, 'Kenny Wells, the way I saw him, was a guy who was on liquid lunch and liquid dinners a lot, and he's kind of let himself go but has a huge amount of energy. So I gave myself the pleasure of saying, you can eat whatever you want and you can drink whatever you want for four months, go for it! Two months later my weight was up to 211 pounds, which my body has never had on it before."
Matthew McConaughey shaved his head in Thailand, the better to put on a customised balding toupee, and also inserted prosthetic crooked teeth that he'd conceptualised.
'Matthew McConaughey humanises this guy who's slovenly, overweight, boisterous, drinks too much, and smokes too much," notes Nozik. 'He never hides behind formality or custom. He just lets it all hang out. Matthew McConaughey humanises this character and you come to love him and you want him to succeed."
Observes Teddy Schwarzman, 'Matthew McConaughey added a level of toughness, of rawness, of passion to the character. I think one could look at it and think that there are similarities to Death of a Salesman and Willy Loman, and yet Kenny Wells as portrayed by Matthew McConaughey is just so honest, so true, and so real in a way where it was very important to him and to us."
Teddy Schwarzman always envisioned Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez as the inscrutable Mike Acosta, having seen Ramirez in Carlos, and taking note of his intensity and magnetism. Ramirez reasons of Gold's enigmatic geologist, 'I didn't see Acosta as mysterious, so much as reserved. He speaks a lot about what he knows, but very seldom does he speak about who he is or what he feels. He speaks his mind about things that he knows, that he's seen, that he's learned, but not about who he is. It's hard for Acosta to talk about himself. He observes the world and analyzes what's around him."
Of the friendship that forms between Acosta and Kenny, Ramirez offers, 'They become very good friends, despite the fact that they're so different. They have very different backgrounds, but they know what it is to be doubted and to be rejected. That's where they find a common ground, where they find a personal connection. Their wounds are very similar. They have different origins but they're very similar. It's all very unspoken. It's more of an intuition. They sense each other in a way, and that connection will become stronger and deeper as they struggle together to find the gold."
On set, Matthew McConaughey and Ramirez spent a good amount of time developing their characters' relationship, and even devised a secret between the two of them that they agreed not to divulge to anyone else...and never did.
Portraying Kenny's longtime girlfriend Kay, is Bryce Dallas Howard. 'She's someone who knows herself. And she's someone who's very centered in her own identity and who she is and in her relationship and her work and in her life. The work I had to do most of all was to kind of find those things for myself, so I could be that person. Kay has given me the chance to be present and smell the roses and to feel passion on a moment to moment basis," confides Bryce Dallas Howard.
'There are challenges in her relationship with Kenny and she faces those square on. I don't think she's in denial about him. I think she knows who he is and trusts who he is," Bryce Dallas Howard says. 'During the course of their journey in this story, there are certain codes that they've kept for their entire relationship that do get broken and get fractured, and they need to work through those things."
Bryce Dallas Howard sees Kay as the perfect complement to Kenny: 'She respects that he's a dreamer. She respects how fiercely he pursues those dreams. She truly loves him unconditionally. That's the thing that most resonated with me with this character – a person who has the capacity to love unconditionally and still be very strong within herself and her own identity."
Matthew McConaughey likewise sensed unconditional love between couple. He says, "There is a wonderful simplicity that's very empowering that has to do one, with the time in 1988, and two, in how Kay can love her man Kenny. It's a time and a relationship. This couple lives sort of off the grid compared to modern terms. They stepped off the cliff a long time ago, 10 years ago, and I said, Just hang on to my hand and don't let go, I promise you we'll grow wings before we land. It's a relationship where they've never let go. And they're not gonna let go. They have their scars. They don't have the luxury of saying, You know what, we're having marital problems, let's talk to a psychiatrist. They don't have the luxury of saying, I can't believe you still like me, I'm never gonna see you again. Kenny is the guy that Kay fell for early on and he loves her."
The way Matthew McConaughey sees it, 'In that way it's a great love story, very much like what Debra Winger was so good at doing in her day, in Urban Cowboy and An Officer and a Gentleman."
Teddy Schwarzman believes, 'What really matters to Kay is their relationship and understanding that it's not about materialism, it's about what you have right in front of you. It's an incredible journey of strength, loyalty, devotion, humility, and passion that Kay goes on."
Corey Stoll gives a pragmatic performance as savvy Wall Street banker Bryan Woolf, who views Kenny Wells as a not terribly sophisticated player and has his own plans for maximizing Washoe's gold find. "Bryan Woolf is smart and he's a good salesman because he knows exactly what the buyer wants to hear. But not only that, he never lies actually. He finds a way to maybe not tell the whole truth, but like all good salesmen he finds a way to believe everything he's saying," says Corey Stoll, whose well-heeled New York banker sensibility is in direct contrast to Kenny's wild-card Reno gambler style.
"Even though we're following Kenny, and we love Kenny despite his flaws, I think we would all react in a similar way to Bryan Woolf. Kenny is not necessarily working in his own best interest," proposes Corey Stoll.
Corey Stoll worked with director Stephen Gaghan on Bryan Woolf's nuances. "It's very important for Stephen Gaghan that everybody be an individual and real, even though they might fit into the stereotype of the rich banker taking advantage of the hayseed from Reno," Corey Stoll says. 'Stephen Gaghan is very much a fan of back story. He wants all the actors to know where their characters came from, where they went to college, where they grew up. There has to be specificity to every person."
The deal Bryan Woolf proposes makes sense financially. Corey Stoll points out, 'It's a very lucrative deal for Kenny Wells, and on a certain level I don't understand why he wouldn't take it because he's going to make more money than he could ever spend in his lifetime. But we'll make more. And he knows that."
Bryan Woolf's deal hinges on the participation of South African mining titan Mark Hancock, played by Bruce Greenwood, whose real-life father was a geologist, so the actor could envision his character's situation immediately. "He's a guy that made his bones in mining. Started as an engineer and became spectacularly successful. He's a good guy. He's a businessman. He does what needs to be done to make business happen. Then he gets into business with Matthew McConaughey's character and finds it difficult because Matthew McConaughey's character wants more than I'm prepared to share," assesses Bruce Greenwood.
The two characters meet in one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, at a posh party in the Hamptons for high-rollers. As Bruce Greenwood tells it, 'The first time Mark Hancock meets Kenny Wells, Matthew McConaughey is, shall we say, indisposed. He's in a hot tub with a young thing, then apparently thinks nothing of leaping out while at, well, attention. And so we have a conversation with him dripping wet!"
Bruce Greenwood appreciated that the movie is loosely inspired by the real-life Bre-X scandal. "Being Canadian, and Bre-X being a Canadian company, I was all over that story. And all this time, having known that it was a fantastic story, and then finding out it was being made, I thought I would just love to be part of it," Bruce Greenwood confides.
Banker Clive Coleman, played by Stacy Keach, has a very different relationship with Kenny Wells. 'Clive Coleman knew Kenny's father so there's a real bond," notes Stacy Keach. "Kenny wants my respect. I'm a surrogate father to him. His desire for my respect is as if his father would have been very proud of him. I sense that there is a gap in his life in terms of emotional support from a family member."
The way Stacy Keach views it, 'Clive certainly cares for Kenny. But he's materialistic too. The money is very important to him. That's why he's successful. He's basically a good guy but he's brusque. He doesn't put up with BS. He's very outspoken. He doesn't mince words."
Remote Locations In Thailand
Gold began its shoot in Thailand, chosen for its mature film infrastructure as well as its exotic jungles, relatively low production costs, and similar geography to Indonesia. Among the many films that have been shot in Thailand are The Impossible, The Hangover Part II, Tomorrow Never Dies, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Heaven & Earth, Cutthroat Island, and Good Morning, Vietnam. There were two distinct looks Gold needed to establish in Thailand: 1980s Jakarta and the jungles of Borneo.
In Bangkok, the production needed to find 1980s Jakarta, and ended up shooting at three of the city's highest end hotels: The Shangri-La, The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, and The Siam. The Shangri-La was built in the -80s and has an old wing that has been restored with the same old-world charm as one would've been found in the -80s. It doubled for the Jakarta Palace Hotel. Here, production filmed the scene where Kenny and Acosta have drinks in the lobby, as well as the scene in which they dine with the Indonesian minister of mining.
The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has been ranked as the top hotel in the world more than once, and is considered the most prestigious hotel in Southeast Asia. Production filmed the scene here where Kenny talks on the phone from a suite overlooking the Chao Praya River, and the scene in the Colonial Era Club was filmed in the hotel's Bamboo Bar.
The Siam Hotel is one of the newest, most exclusive, and most expensive hotels on the river in Bangkok. 'We found it almost by accident scouting by boat up the Chao Praya River," says coproducer Chris Lowenstein, whose Living Film production services company is based in Thailand. 'We filmed the hotel to be Danny Suharto's estate in Jakarta, and our red 1962 Cadillac looked perfect parked in front of the white stonework of the hotel."
Executive producer Ben Stillman recalls, "The Siam is absolutely beautiful. It's right on the water, so there's an approach in a boat."
The Jakarta bar scenes were filmed in a converted art gallery in the middle of Bangkok's famous Chinatown. Hundreds of vehicles from the 1980s were obtained and put on the streets during filming, along with period props and set dressing.
Jungles Of Borneo
The other distinct look needed was the jungle of 1980s Borneo. This terrain was found in southern Thailand, however not until after scouting almost every part of Thailand, including areas along the borders of Myanmar and Laos. Production was ultimately based in Krabi and Surat Thani. Krabi Airport was shot as Jakarta International Airport.
The initial location for the main Washoe gold mine site in Khao Sok had never been shot before. 'We discovered the location by taking bamboo rafts down a jungle river and when we stepped out onto the site, we all knew it was an amazing discovery. Once we decided to shoot there, we had to build a road just to access the site. However, this location, after our first two days of shooting there, had a devastating flood. The water of the river rose 25 feet in 36 hours, completely covering our entire set," laments Chris Lowenstein.
After the flood, a new set for the Washoe gold mine site was built in the province of Krabi. Both the pre-flood and post-flood Washoe gold mining sites were secluded and exotic, with gigantic limestone cliffs on all sides, and dark red earth showing amidst the lush jungle. Cast and crew bushwhacked in, tramping down makeshift paths in high boots. A dedicated snake wrangler was on payroll to clear the site of snakes each day. Fluorescent caterpillars with infectious hairs, giant spiders, leeches, and mosquitoes were other hazards. Scrapes and cuts easily became infected. And the tropical weather changed constantly.
"We needed to build our mining site and then surround it with our own trees and jungle, so that we could tear them down again in the film. Thus, we had to bring in thousands of tropical plants, trees, and bushes, and plant them ahead of filming," remembers Chris Lowenstein.
The river scenes where Wells and Acosta travel up river, then later when the three bankers arrive, were even tougher to film, with cast and crew wading through the muddy water. According to Chris Lowenstein, 'The water levels would rise and fall dramatically day to day. On one day, the river was running so fast that we couldn't get our boats upriver. On another day, the river was so low that we had to use crews from stunts, marine, and unit departments to physically carry our boats up the river."
Gold was filmed during monsoon season in Thailand, with torrential downpours adding to the challenges.
Appraises Edgar Ramirez, 'Thailand was rough but ultimately it informed the movie. It's a rough movie. It's very old-school. We wanted to make it as real and as mystical as possible, and I think the jungle in Thailand helped a lot – all the elements we had against us, the monsoon season, a very thick and almost virgin jungle, the language barrier, the remoteness of the places, the mud, the locations being washed out. We were really struggling as much as anybody struggling for gold."
Pinpoints executive producer Ben Stillman, 'We were looking for the wild of the jungle. It's two guys seeking gold, going to an area traveling back in time. It should feel dangerous, wild, untamed, and like they are really placing a stake in the middle of nowhere and miraculously finding gold… or not."
The remoteness was vital. Ben Stillman emphasises, 'We wanted to capture the sense of the river narrowing and going back in time, that sort of Heart of Darkness kind of journey to a place where it's truly man versus nature, and we have these two guys whose bond is growing partially due to the fact that they're out there fighting the elements and getting malaria. We had to find limestone cliffs and tons of green and a hanging canopy over rivers. It had to feel stunning and like a place that people haven't been to before."
It did. The most memorable location may have been at Chomplee, a gem of a place hidden between limestone cliffs in Krabi province. The entire crew scrambled up to the top of ridge to establish the manifestation of Kenny's dream there, with golden light shining down onto a green jungle valley and blue mountains in the distance.
Western Locations In New Mexico And Nevada
With its most exotic scenes captured, production relocated to Albuquerque, NM, and Reno, NV. Both are high-desert cities in the western United States, with mountains close by – the Sandia Mountains stand at the edge of Albuquerque, and the Sierra Nevadas rise from Reno. Albuquerque has a metro population of 903,000, while Reno's metro population is 438,000. Both areas have ranching, agriculture, and mining backgrounds, with cowboy hats, cowboy boots, horses, and gambling casinos omnipresent even today.
Most of Reno's interior scenes were filmed in Albuquerque, due to its extensive film infrastructure with crews and equipment, and its film incentives.
The Three Greenhorns bar was established at the former Paul's Monterey Inn retro steakhouse with its dim lighting, high booths, and padded bar. Says New Mexico location manager Dennis Muscari, 'Paul's was one of the keys to attracting Gold here. Stephen Gaghan flipped for it! We turned two rooms into one big room and kept the original light fixtures, booths, inside lanterns, chandeliers with wine bottles, and look of a dark, smoky lounge." Set decorator Carla Curry added a cigarette machine, slot machines, ram's head trophy wall-mount, boar head trophy, and velvet painting of dogs playing poker.
Production built the Prospector's Suite at Harrah's Hotel and Casino on an Albuquerque stage, decorating it with a wooden pool table, wooden bar, vintage wooden furniture with fabric panels, marble tables, amethyst and granite sculptures, greyhound sculptures, and decorative animal horns.
A Wall Street Stock Exchange trading floor was created in the newsroom of the Albuquerque Journal newspaper, and filled with 1980s computers and telephones.
The biggest production day in Albuquerque was at the Prospectors Awards Gala, with more than 350 extras costumed in glittering gowns and tuxedos, and filmed in a giant ballroom with crystal chandeliers. Production built an apricot-colored stage curtain, a brass trophy with a prospector's pickaxe embedded into a gold brick that was custom created by a blacksmith in Cimarron, NM, and decorated dozens of tables with handmade golden centerpieces, showy deserts, and champagne bottles in silver champagne buckets. The location for Kay's house was in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, nestled against the rugged Sandia Mountains where birds swoop by. Her house was beautified with freshly planted lavender and bougainvillea landscaping, as well as a newly tiled sparkling pool.
The most dramatic location in New Mexico was the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a pristine 89,000-acre backcountry ranch located two hours northwest of Albuquerque. This is where Kenny takes Kay with plans of building their dream ranch. 'We filmed a big panorama of green grasses and wild lilies, with elk in the distance and hummingbirds everywhere. There were swirling clouds in the blue sky, and we shot at magic hour," describes Muscari.
When scouting the Valles Caldera, director Stephen Gaghan was so attracted to a nearby mountain road where he saw a horsewoman lassoing horses on her ranch, that he added a short driving scene with Kenny and Kay there.
In Reno, production roamed the Virginia Street downtown area with its neon hotel signs, and shot exteriors of Harrah's Reno Hotel & Casino along with rooftop views from the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino.
Executive producer Ben Stillman reflects, "Reno has seen better days but it also has a real heart to it and it's Kenny's home and it's what he's proud of and everyone there has that underdog spirit. It was once a booming city and it's fallen on hard times, but there's still that potential to get back there."
Upscale Locations In New York
For the final week of filming in early October, production captured three iconic New York City locations that symbolise the sizzle and hustle at the highest levels of the finance world. The Seagram Building on Park Avenue and 52nd Street appears in the movie as itself. Designed by architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson as a prototype of the 20th century American skyscraper, it was built in 1958 as the headquarters for distillers Seagram's & Sons. It's still regarded as a stunning example of corporate modernism in the functionalist aesthetic. Gold filmed the exterior of the building and in the building's lobby, establishing it as the location for the fictional high-rolling investment firm of Brown, Thomas.
The Four Seasons Restaurant, which is situated inside the Seagram Building, was temporarily closed for two nights for filming of the party scene that celebrates Washoe Mining's successful launch on the New York Stock Exchange. Likewise designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, The Four Seasons Restaurant, with its golden-hued accents, is a high-design midcentury mecca for power players in the financial world. Among the spare modernist features that have helped it achieve its nickname of "the city's greatest dining room" are its French walnut-paneled walls and towering two-story windows. In the movie, the exclusive restaurant is landmarked for exactly what it is.
A third renowned site completed the triumvirate of acclaimed New York City locations: the Waldorf Astoria New York. This lavish art-deco hotel on Park Avenue and 51st St., with its cream-and-gold-toned lobby, also plays in the movie as itself. It is where Kenny and Kay stay when they come to New York for the Washoe Mining stock launch. Production filmed Kay's arrival there in a town car, Kay crossing through the majestic lobby to enter the Vanderbilt room, Kay entering Kenny's suite where there are flowers everywhere, and Kay and Kenny in their suite evaluating their changing lives.
For the ultimate in sumptuous locations when Kenny's success takes him to places he's never imagined, production went outside the city to film the scenes that take place at a Southampton mansion. These scenes were actually filmed at a sprawling country estate known as 'Birchwood" on the North Shore of Long Island. It was designed by Howard Greenley in 1906 for Anson Wood Burchard, who was the vice chairman and president of General Electric Company.
The elegant white Colonial mansion with multiple floors and over 20 rooms is a traditional home on the water in the old-money style of those mansions that have been there since the turn of the last century, owned by titans of success who boasted deep pockets and deep connections. The estate includes green lawns, French doors, terraces, marble floors, a pool, and several cottages. Here is where production filmed the head-turning hot tub scene where Kenny is tempted by Rachel, then meets Mark Hancock.
Cinematography, Production Design, And Costumes
Gold was shot by director of photography Robert Elswit. Anamorphic lenses were used with film stock in Thailand, the better to fill the images with rich, detailed information. Anamorphic lenses were used with digital recording in most of the US scenes. A spherical lens in digital format was used for the interrogation scenes, for more of a pared-down, hard look at reality.
Production designer Maria Djurkovic established a colour palette of greens, oranges, blues, and tans that permeates the movie. She explains. 'Our palette has to do with the colours of the sky and the landscape. In Thailand it's pretty Technicolor with that jungle – really, really intense greens. The tents in the mine site are bright orange, bright blue, really strong colours. We use the same palette of colours in the US, but with the volume turned down a smidge. So the orange and blue are quite predominant and there's a sandy colour that travels throughout as well."
There is an injection of colour the minute the story shifts to Jakarta. Maria Djurkovic describes, 'At the airport, they're greeted by orange tuk-tuks and yellow cabs, and I deliberately picked cars in much stronger colours. There is that feeling you get when you land in the tropics, where the light is blinding and there are very intense colours."
In 1980s Reno, Maria Djurkovic specifies, 'It's the right swirly carpets, the chairs that look like melted marshmallows, big green indoor plants, glass brick walls, a crazy big disk sculpture in a weird stand." Remington replica sculptures in western themes were created by prop master Keith Walters for the Reno offices.
At Kay's house, the look is more subdued. Maria Djurkovic reasons, 'She doesn't have much money. She works in a furniture shop. Everything is a little bit chaotic. A little bit hippie. It's feminine, it's friendly, it's messy."
In New York City, Maria Djurkovic created more of a crisp, dynamic yuppie world. Costume designer Danny Glicker chose a complementary palette of blues, reds, and browns.
Danny Glicker proposed that Kenny Wells should have only one suit, a brown suit he wears whenever a suit is needed. 'That is a very important clue as to who Kenny Wells is. It was an important decision made by Stephen and Matthew and myself, about this guy who was moving through this massive journey, through many different worlds, but at the center of it is a man who ultimately doesn't change in the ways that we think he is going to change," reflects Danny Glicker. 'That really brings a through line of integrity to his journey because what it's really bringing to the fore is here's a man that wants to be respected, who wants to accomplish something on his terms. He does not want to keep changing to please other people."
The brown suit Kenny wears was designed by Danny Glicker with soft shoulders to show a man who might be in the process of being slightly broken down, along with long collars to express a man who might feel like life is not as optimistic as it once was.
In Indonesia, Mike Acosta wears lots of linen, along with utility fabrics and high-end suits, his look inspired by iconic men like John Huston and Ernest Hemingway. He wears greens, slate grays, and lots of white and pale creams. The visiting bankers are clad in vintage Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic safari wear.
In Reno, for silhouettes reflective of the 1980s, Danny Glicker incorporated shoulder pads in much of the women's clothing, while the men's pants tend to be pleated and high-waisted, and the men wear narrow ties. There are Western snap button shirts, vests, and bolo ties. 'There's lots of wonderful Western touches in Reno," says Danny Glicker.
Kay's jeans are exactly correct to the era. Danny Glicker assures, 'They're very high-waisted, they're very tight, they don't have any of the bells and whistles that we're used to now. They're not trendy. She has traditional Levi's and Wrangler's and Lee's of the era."
In New York, the costumes are crisper, sharper, and colder. 'I started introducing colours that are harder, whites that are whiter, brighter, sharper whites, reds that are a little brighter and crisper, sort of having fun with the whole power movement of the -80s," Danny Glicker describes.
The most striking costume of the movie is the vintage gold lamé dress Kay wears to The Four Seasons Restaurant. Danny Glicker reasons, 'Kenny told her, I'm taking you to the fanciest restaurant in New York, and this bighearted Reno girl thinks she's gonna get the prettiest, flashiest dress she has and wear it. And she gets to The Four Seasons and nobody else is dressed that way. It's this big moment, when you realise that the world that Kenny and Kay are traveling in is beginning to alienate them a little bit and eat them up a little bit. You see this woman who's so authentic and so bighearted and she's beginning to have complicated questions about where she is in this journey."
Gold is a film that resonates on different levels. It's about the desire for achievement, about self-worth, about trust, about the intoxication of success, about the idea that big money changes people, and it's a love story.
Producer Teddy Schwarzman says, 'This is an adventure film, this is a drama, this is a mystery. It has twists and turns. Ultimately it's a very personal journey about what it takes in this day and age to achieve the American dream and the lengths you will go to in order to get it. There's love, there's betrayal, there's ambition, there's duplicity, there's heart, and comedy."
Concurs producer Michael Nozik, "The movie is about the desire that we all have to succeed, to find that thing that defines us." And yet with success, come complications and consequences. 'Kenny finds what is potentially the largest gold find in history. And it's a ride to the sun. But he flies too close to the sun and he gets burned. This story is about how you ride and how you survive and about ultimately how he can preserve his dignity and his personality. And the most important thing, he comes to realise, is it's not about all those desires he had but finally it's about the woman that he shares that dream and that ride with."
Executive producer Ben Stillman believes, 'The movie is about legacy; it's about being able to forget about yesterday and dream still for tomorrow; it's about keeping your dignity when no one believes in you, and proving people wrong; and also it's about greed and how money blinds people, it's a reality that blinds people to what matters; about finding what matters despite whatever rise on the low-end or high-end that you find yourself on; and about realising what home means and that that's really the most important thing of all."
For Bryce Dallas Howard, the film contains enduring themes. "Gold is an allegorical tale of greed and success and misguided dreams. It's an important story in many ways," she proposes. "There's twists and turns and this kind of iconic character at the center of it, but even though it has all of those elements and all those plates spinning, it goes so much deeper than that. When I read this film, I thought immediately of Ibsen and Chekov and Arthur Miller, playwrights who dealt with really who human beings are, what they're up against, and what it takes to keep being who they are in the midst of whatever they're dealing with."
As Edgar Ramirez views it, 'The themes are loyalty, friendship, determination, pride, compassion, and empathy."
Matthew McConaughey believes the film presents a lasting perspective on Americana. 'The movie explores respect, brotherhood, faithfulness, what a man will do to keep the dream alive, pride, loyalty, the little man getting away with it, the underdog winning, the underdog stickin' it to the big man who's been trying to stick it to him, and the loser who wins. It's a great American story about the ways America was built," declares Matthew McConaughey. In fact, 'It could be a real American classic. It has mystery, drama, a lot of humour, a lot of humanity along the way, and a story that you probably never heard of most likely."
Release Date: February 2nd, 2017