Iconic Canadian tech company BlackBerry will be the subject of a new film from Toronto-based independent distributor Elevation.
Simply titled BlackBerry, the film will chronicle the rise and fall of the firm, formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), with a specific focus on co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin. Toronto’s Matt Johnson (Nirvanna the Band the Show) directed the movie, which is an adaptation of Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry, the 2015 non-fiction book by The Globe and Mail reporters Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish.
A representative from Elevation also confirmed to The Canadian Press that Montreal’s Jay Baruchel (How To Train Your Dragon) and American actor Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) will co-star as Lazaridis and Fregin, respectively. The film, which recently wrapped shooting in Hamilton, Ontario, also stars Quebec-raised Saul Rubinek (Frasier), Toronto’s Michael Ironside (the Splinter Cell video game series) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride).
BlackBerry will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where it will be shopped to distributors. Therefore, those interested should stay tuned to the festival between September 8th and 18th for word on when BlackBerry may get a theatrical or streaming release.
All told, the story of BlackBerry is a fascinating one. Founded in 1984, the company started off with a focus on wireless data but branched out to consumer devices, particularly smartphones, in the early 2000s and achieved rapid growth. For a time, BlackBerry was the world’s most popular smartphone brand, until rising competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung ultimately toppled the Canadian company’s handset empire.
In recent years, BlackBerry has licensed the brand to companies like the now-shuttered OnwardMobility, although a planned 5G handset was cancelled earlier this year, making it unclear if there are any other BlackBerry phones on the way. Otherwise, BlackBerry’s main business now is cybersecurity, with its technology being used by automakers, governments and other bodies.
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