"Based on a true story"

When a group of amateur investors rallied around the stock for GameStop back in 2021, the story blew up the internet. News outlets around the world, including us here at Planet Money, rushed in to explain why the stock for this retail video game company was suddenly skyrocketing, at times by as much as 1700% in value, and what that meant for the rest of us.

When movie producer Aaron Ryder saw the GameStop story — an army of scrappy underdogs, banding together to strike back against a financial system they felt was rigged against them — he knew it had the makings for a great movie. The only problem: so did a bunch of other movie producers and Hollywood studios. So Aaron found himself in the middle of a fast and furious race to make the first Game Stop movie.

On today's show, one producer's quest to claim the hottest ticket in Tinseltown and the whole hidden machinery dedicated to turning a news story into box office gold. You'll never read the word 'based on a true story' the same way again.

Today's episode was reported and hosted by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Jess Jiang, engineered by James Willetts, and fact-checked by Cooper Katz McKim and James Sneed. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.

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