Yes, you read that right. BlackBerry might be dead as a phone, but at least its memory will be a major feature on the silver screen. As much as I would prefer an Emoji Movie-like animated film of walking talking BlackBerry phones punching each others’ physical keyboards (Hollywood, if you’re listening, I have a script ready), this upcoming movie will reportedly document the rise and fall of one of the most popular cellulars before the days of ubiquitous touchscreens.
Variety first reported on an upcoming film featuring the titular cell phone called BlackBerry. The story will chronicle the phone and its company’s rise from its inception as Research in Motion to its demise after it failed to catch on against the silicon valley giants like Google or Apple.
The story is reportedly based on the 2015 book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry by The Globe and Mail reporters Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff. The book chronicles RIM’s shaky start and co-CEOs of the Canada-based company Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie’s ruthless efforts to make the phone uber popular in the mid-to-late 2000s and early 2010s, all while their relationship was stretched and torn until both resigned.
Though beyond the internal strife and success, the phones became renowned for their addictive quality. Former President Barack Obama was notable for using one throughout his original 2008 campaign and holding onto the device despite advisers fear of security risks. Former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was an avid BlackBerry user, and so was Kim Kardashian, for a while at least.
The movie is being directed by Matt Johnson, who both directed and starred in 2013’s The Dirties and headed up 2016’s Operation Avalanche. The film just entered post production, and it’s starring Knocked Up lead Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton, who you’ll easily recognize as Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Though nothings been confirmed, more than likely both will be playing the founders.
Knowing which actors are headlining the flick, now all I want to see is either Lazaridis or Balsillie go fully “untethered,” whichever one Howerton ends up playing at least (I’m betting it’s Lazaridis).
BlackBerry phones were once thought as dead as a doornail when TCL—the company BlackBerry Limited licensed the rights to in 2019—tweeted they were going to stop selling any and all BlackBerry branded devices, following poor sales of all its latest devices. That same year, Texas-based OnwardMobility later said they bought the rights to create a new kind of 5G BlackBerry Android-based phone, keeping that physical keyboard that originally hooked users all those years ago. Unfortunately, it seems those plans died out along with the company, earlier this year, along with any hope for the classic phone’s return.