At the wake of the 2000s, BlackBerry became a household name around the world, taking the lead as the first commercial smartphone, and clearing the path for iPhone and Android devices. This domination went on for almost two decades, before the unfortunate displacement, and the resulting decline of the smartphone line.
With the gradual focus of movie makers shifting to the production of biopic movies, and origin stories of different brands, it is obviously only a matter of time before BlackBerry get fingered by movie makers; apparently, it is about time.
BlackBerry is now about to be all in our faces, as a foremost movie maker, Matt Johnson, has picked up the project, and about to set it for the big screen. Some of Johnson’s previously directed movies include “The Dirties” and “Operation Avalanche”.
“BlackBerry is the kind of movie I never thought I could make in this country, but it’s a bright new day for Canadian film. Bold, director-driven cinema is back with the full force of the 1980s,” Johnson said.
The movie, which is titled “BlackBerry”, will detail the events leading to the rise of BlackBerry smartphones, as well as the legal tussles experienced by the parent company – Research in Motion. The movie will also exhibit the unfortunate decline, the eventual loss of market to competitors like Apple, Samsung, and Google, and the business relationship between co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.
BlackBerry movies is an adaptation of the 2015 non-fiction book “Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry.” The book was written by Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish, who are both Globe and Mail reporters; and was shot largely in the Hamilton area.
The movie stars actors like Cary Elwes (“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning,”), Saul Rubinek (“Hunters,” “True Romance”), Rich Sommer (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Mad Men”), Martin Donovan (“Tenet,” “Big Little Lies”), Michael Ironside (“Total Recall,” “Scanners”) and Johnson – who also directed the movie.
The film was financed by Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates, in association with CBC Films, IPR.VC, and XYZ Films. Elevation Pictures will distribute the movie in Canada.
There is no set release date for the movie, but production has been completed.
After BlackBerry lost its dominance in the smartphone industry, TCL picked up manufacturing of the device for about a year, until it renewed its contract, and stopped selling. The brand name was also picked by OnwardMobility which announced the production of a new line of 5G enabled BlackBerry devices. However, those devices never reached the market till the company lost its license.
In its end-of-life move, BlackBerry announced, earlier this year, that it will no longer be creating support for its classic devices. This marked the beginning of the decommissioning programme for the OnwardMobility partnership.