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“Remember that phone that everyone had before the iPhone? This is how they start and how they end.”
That’s how director Matt Johnson describes his film Blackberry, co-written with producer Matthew Miller. A couple of Torontonians are telling the unique Canadian story of the world’s first smartphone, the BlackBerry device, created by Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion (RIM).
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In its heyday, BlackBerry was everywhere – the undisputed king of mobile phones, even among businessmen. But a few years later, the company almost completely disappeared.
“Canadian industry’s modest yet turbulent report on market potential, Blackberry is a darkly comic telling of the tragic story of a Canadian company that changed the way we communicate, before quickly fading into obsolescence,” according to production company Elevation Pictures.
Canadian actor Jay Baruchel donned silver hair to play Mike Lazaridis, the brain behind BlackBerry, alongside Johnson, who played his business partner and best friend Douglas Fregin.
The trailer begins with the two founders rushing into the parking lot in 1996, late for a meeting with investor Jim Balsillie, who would eventually agree to join the company with the money and business knowledge needed to sell it. their invention to life.
“Ok, a cell phone picture and an email device all in one thing,” Fregin pitches Balsillie, played by Glenn Howerton. It’s always sunny in Philadelphia fame. “There’s a free, wireless internet signal in all of North America and nobody knows how to use it.”
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The trailer teases the tumultuous behind-the-scenes story of how the RIM team developed the design of the BlackBerry and eventually brought it to market, where it exploded in popularity.
“It was as if overnight three men changed the way people work, communicate and connect. Celebrities, politicians and businessmen are addicted to their Blackberrys,” writes Elevation Pictures.
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“The company’s value soared, yet within a few short years shady business dealings, personal emotions, and, perhaps most dangerously, the iPhone, threatened the company’s incredible success.”
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We all know how this story ends. BlackBerry was replaced in the long run by the sleeker, keyboard-less iPhone, but 2023’s Blackberry makes the case that there was a lot of internal turmoil within the company that contributed to its downfall.
The film is an adaptation of the bestselling book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Surprising Rise and Extraordinary Fall of Blackberrywritten by Canadian journalists Jacquie McNish, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, and Sean Silcoff of the Globe & Mail.
“It’s funny that the movie is based on a book called it The Rise and Fall of Blackberry,” shares Miller. “Because for me, they are a great success story. I know people think they are a joke because of their quick fall, but they also had a meteoric rise. Blackberry is some of the best of what Canada has to offer. “
‘BlackBerry’ hits theaters across Canada on May 12.
& Copy World News 2023, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.