Oliver Stone: What helped pay for 'Wall Street 2'

Film benefited 'enormously' from product placement

NEW YORK -- Oliver Stone said here Wednesday that his "Wall Street" sequel benefited "enormously" from product placement that helped expand a tight budget without compromising the integrity of the film.

Answering an audience question at an Advertising Week event, he said the movie was too big for the New York tax credits it got and a $60 million budget from Fox. "Fox is known as a tight studio," he said. "We needed help, and we took it where we could without, I think, prostituting the movie." All the sponsor support "helped us enormously," he concluded.

Stone mentioned Dunkin' Donuts, Ducati, tech firms, hedge fund firm SkyBridge and possibly energy drinks as advertising partners on the film. "No big, big cash, no Gillette shaving cream," he highlighted. "There was no scene that we did out of the way specifically to accommodate."

In fact, the film producers were approached by many advertisers and couldn't take them all. For example, Starbucks couldn't come on board because there was already a relationship with Dunkin' Donuts, Stone said. "I don't think that disqualifies the movie," he added.

After doing his second "Wall Street" movie, Stone said Wednesday that he is not depressed about where the country is going after the financial crisis, arguing that it's all a recurring cycle that is likely to hit again in the future.

He said he has seen four periods of big leaps, or bubbles, in his lifetime alone -- the 1960s, '80s, the Internet bubble and the pre-crisis growth period -- and said who knows if there won't be a fifth and a sixth. His approach is to "be ready for the fifth bubble," he said.

Stone again lauded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was featured in his 2009 documentary "South of the Border," as a political leader who has addressed poverty and done other good despite criticism from the U.S. and many other countries. "It's easy to dislike him if everybody in the U.S. calls him names," he told the Advertising Week crowd.

Stone on Wednesday also criticized that U.S. wage workers have not seen wage gains since the 1970s, said that Robert Rubin may be the richest ex-U.S. Secretary of the Treasury of all time and suggested that President George W. Bush wasn't really interested in running the government.

But much time went into discussing the "Wall Street" sequel and how the financial outlook and direction of stock markets remain unclear. About the sequel, Stone said each character in it at one point betrays another person because "that's the nature" of Wall Street.
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