After sharing the screen with dinosaurs and dragons, Bryce Dallas Howard is sharing the screen with an even rare creature: an unattractive Matthew McConaughey. In Stephen Gaghan’s Gold, the actor plays a balding, overweight gold prospector and she is his wife. On first look, McConaughey appeared as if he’s trying to play the same awards-goal game as Christian Bale in American Hustle (interestingly enough, Bale was once up for the role), but the new trailer makes the movie seem more a cross between a few previous McConaughey movies, The Wolf of Wall Street, Sahara and Fool’s Gold. Watch the new spot here:
As the trailer mentions, Gold is based by a true story, but to go through the details probably spoils the plot of the movie. Only read further if you’re okay knowing what happens because historical events are fair game.
What are the true events?
Gold is inspired by the 1990s Bre-X gold mining scandal, which involved a sham gold deposit site in Borneo, Indonesia. It’s considered one of the worst stock scandals in Canadian history and the world’s worst incident of mining fraud ever.
Does Matthew McConaghey play a real person?
McConaughey plays a fictionalized character based on David Walsh, a Canadian man with a full head of hair who founded Bre-X Minerals in the late ’80s and wound up an unwitting accomplice in the mining scandal. He died of a brain aneurysm in 1998. He may be a composite, however, additionally based on (also not bald) geologist John Felderhof, who convinced Walsh to invest in the land.
Here are images of both men, Walsh on the left and Felderhof on the right:
Who is Edgar Ramirez playing?
The basis for Ramirez’s character is a lot clearer. He plays a fictionalized version of Indonesian geologist Michael de Gusman, who devised the scheme and looped Felderhof in as his more credible partner. His method of deception involved filing flakes off of his wedding ring. When the operation started to become suspicious after a few years, de Guzman jumped to his death from a helicopter.
Has this story been the subject of a movie before?
The Bre-X scandal has not been made into a feature before, but an episode of the Canadian true crime show Masterminds focused on the story. You can watch it here: