So, that happened. Adam McKay, a multi-platform Hollywood hyphenate who helped create some of the most memorable comedies to hit the theaters, is back at the box office with his rendering of Michael Lewis' The Big Short. And he's a man on a mission: "I just feel like if another crisis comes, we're going to get hit again and we're going to be on the hook," he says.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, McKay says he was drawn to this movie -- which documents the traders who bet big against America's "too big to fail" banks before they collapsed -- because he was "struck by the fact that the conversation had already stopped" after the financial crisis. So he's taken Lewis' story and added a blend of interweaving cinematic techniques, creating a film he hopes will be both enjoyable to watch and offer a call to rectify a system that still shows signs of breaking.
"I think the biggest crime was that no one was prosecuted," says McKay of those who played a part in the housing collapse. "I think for the most part there was one guy that got put in jail, and I think that's shameful. ... The banks are clearly still too big to fail."
Listen to HuffPost's interview with McKay in the podcast embedded above. The McKay segment begins at the 14:38 mark.
But it's very clear that what McKay hopes to achieve by bringing The Big Short to a wider audience is more than merely filing an angry brief against Wall Street. The story's characters -- an odd collection of eccentrics who spotted the rot in the housing market and how deeply embedded the big Wall Street firms were in it -- profited immensely from the tragedy that befell the economy. McKay says there's an important lesson in that:
It sort of questions, like -- can there be a hero in a system this far gone? And what is a hero? I'm really proud of the fact that, in the end, you have these guys making loads of money -- but we in no way feel good about it. And I feel like that's something that's been lost in our society. Now, it's sort of like, if you make money, you're good, even if you make money through crappy means. ... That's not cool! I love the fact that these characters in the end are having a crisis.
In addition to Adam McKay, this week's "So, That Happened" features award-winning author and Atlantic reporter/essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates, who joins us to offer his perspective on reparations, Reconstruction and the Democratic primary. We're also joined by Florida law professor Tim Canova, who's emerged as Debbie Wasserman Schultz's first primary opponent in a long time. He'll make his case for why he's ready to take up the challenges his opponent has abandoned.
"So, That Happened" is hosted by Jason Linkins, Zach Carter and Arthur Delaney. Joining them this week is Adam McKay, director of "The Big Short"; Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me; and Tim Canova, Democratic candidate for Florida's 23rd District House seat. Also joining are Huffington Post reporters Paige Lavender and Lauren Webber.
This podcast was produced, edited and engineered by Christine Conetta.