Dumb Money director reveals hedge fund has been “threatening lawsuits”

Daisy Phillipson
Nick Offerman as Ken Griffin in Dumb MoneySony Pictures

It appears Dumb Money has touched a nerve with one of the real-life hedge funders at the center of the movie, as director Craig Gillespie has revealed they’ve been “threatening lawsuits.”

Dumb Money has arrived in cinemas, telling the true story of the GameStop Reddit saga of 2021, which saw millions of people kickstart a grassroots movement by investing in GameStop stock shares to drive its price up and take down the Wall Street titans who had put a huge short position on the shopping mall video game store. 

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While certain players paid the price in the end, a couple of hedge funders got away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. That includes Point72, run by Steve Cohen, and Citadel, run by Ken Griffin, both of whom attempted to bail out Melvin Capital – the firm that was ultimately shattered by the GameStop frenzy. 

Both Cohen and Griffin are still worth billions of dollars between them, so would they even care if they’re depicted as the villains of Dumb Money? Apparently so…

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Hedge fund boss has been “threatening lawsuits” over Dumb Money

Dexerto sat down with Dumb Money director Craig Gillespie, who revealed that Sony Pictures, the studio behind the movie, has been hit with lawsuit threats from Citadel. It appears Griffin isn’t too happy with how he’s portrayed in the film. 

For context, in Dumb Money, we see the Citadel and Point72 bosses conspiring with the founder of the now-defunct Melvin Capital, Gabe Plotkin, to try and fix the mess he was in. It’s also implied that Citadel may have pressured the trading app of choice at the time, Robinhood, into temporarily halting trading on GameStop, causing a ruckus among the retail investor community. 

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We asked Gillespie about whether Griffin and Cohen would even be bothered by their portrayal in the film, given their eye-watering wealth and the fact that they were able to escape from the saga relatively unscathed. 

“They definitely care,” the filmmaker told us. “I know that Citadel has been threatening lawsuits with Sony. So it’s definitely on their radar. But I think the fact that it’s on their radar and they’re not happy about it means that we’re doing something right.”

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As for whether Sony’s sweating it right now, Gillespie reassures us that while the legal threats have occurred in the “last couple of weeks,” the writers were sure to stick to the facts so that they’re protected. 

Portrait of Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. GriffinCreative Commons
The real Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin

He continues: “We had to be diligent about making sure that everything was factual and we’re being very clear about what’s happening. Whether they like it or not, that’s the system and we’re just highlighting that.

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“It’s just good that we’ve been able to have a voice for this and get it out. There was this onus on it, but our writers [Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum] both used to be Wall Street Journal reporters. They were so factual about what was happening and they can back up everything in a very strong way, so I think it sort of makes for more of an anti-case with us.”

Dumb Money is in cinemas now. You can check out more of our coverage below: 

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com