The Big Short Facts: Read About This Iconic Drama & Comedy Film

Srija Chanda
Mar 21, 2023 By Srija Chanda
Originally Published on Mar 21, 2023
Edited by Archita Chaplot
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Some of the best 'The Big Short Fact' that you probably did not know before, so let’s get started

We have often come across the phrase that the financial sector or stock market is unpredictable.

Nevertheless, this entire concept is demonstrated in a 130 minutes movie which is remarkable. Directed by Adam Mckay, this movie stars Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Jeremy Strong, and more.

'The Big Short' is adapted from a book that was published in 2010. The book is written by Michael Lewis, who is one of those people who can present the complexity of analytics and finance in a very comprehensive manner.

This movie is perhaps the greatest description of the financial crisis across the globe. The drama and crisis are meltdowns by Mckay through righteousness and wit.

There are three distinct stories in the movie itself; however, all of them are linked due to the housing bubble. This movie had a budget of $28 million and grossed over $70 million in the US and Canada and more than $113 million worldwide.

Plot & Cast Of The Big Short

'The Big Short' emerged as one of the best movies of all time. Released in 2015, this movie is a must-watch, and what makes this movie so outstanding besides the amazing storyline, screenplay, and cinematography?

It is the cast and plot of the movie. Sometimes it can be hard to blend the theme of finance with the comedy-drama genre. However, in this movie, Adam Mckay has done that effortlessly.

This movie is star-packed as it involves some of the most promising actors in Hollywood, including Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Jeremy Strong, and more. The casting elevates the plot making it a successful movie of all time.

The plot of 'The Big Short' does not revolve around the problem of the financial crisis in 2007. However, it focuses on and accurately depicts the imperfect image of the mortgage crisis.

Some movies are based on Wall Street or the Financial sector, but this movie is extremely brutal toward both.

The movie is set somewhere between 2006-2007 when Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale, who happens to be a Wall Street expertise realizes the danger of defaulting on subprime home loans, so he decides to throw $1 billion against the mortgage market from his investor's money into credit default swap.

This swap market permits him to bet against the mortgage-backed securities in the market.

However, although most commercial banks approved this bet, it imposed paying significant monthly premiums. This idea lures other characters in the movie, including Mark Baum, played by Steve Carell, and Jared Venett, played by Ryan Gosling.

While Jared Venett was a banker, Mark Baum was a hedge fund specialist. Nevertheless, the movie ends with the collapse of the global economy, as predicted.

Characters In The Big Short

The character in the movie is appropriately appointed, and they did justify their respective roles. There is Michael Burry, Mark Baum, Jamie Shipley and Charlie Geller, Ben Rickett, Jared Venett, Vinny Daniel, and more. These roles are played by Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Finn Wittrock, John Magaro, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Jeremy Strong, respectively.

We are introduced to the first character which is Michael Burry. Michael predicted the potential for the real estate market to crash.

He is the managing director of Hedge Find, who is socially inefficient. At the beginning of the movie, nobody trusted him or his prediction. He is the creator of CDS which enables him to bet against the mortgage market in the United States.

Another significant character is Mark Baum, who is a fund manager. He was intrigued by the idea of Burry but did not have enough confidence. However, together they start digging deeper into the matter.

Ben Rickett is a retired banked who Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley tried to convince for help. And Jader Venett, who happens to be the executive in charge at the Deutsche Bank, sells Burry an early CDS because he understood Burry’s analysis.

Awards And Reviews

Reviews of the movie are very important as it helps us better understand great films, and 'The Big Short' has some great reviews, as both the audience and movie critics well received this movie. This movie has also received several nominations for some major awards and managed to bag some of them.

With a rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.8/10 on IMDb, this movie has been appreciated by many. In 2016, this movie was nominated for various awards under Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor Role (Male), Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Achievement in Film Edition.

Despite many nominations, 'The Big Short' owns one Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Besides, The Oscars 'The Big Short' was nominated for another major film award, BAFTA.

It was nominated under Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Male), and Best Film for Direction. However, it received only one BAFTA film Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Did You Know

  • The character of Mark Baum, played by Steve Carell, is based on the manager of a hedge fund Steve Eisman.
  • The two fundamentals of 'The Big Short' are collateralized debt obligations and short selling.
  • If you ever wonder about the link between home mortgages and Wall Street, it is because the link was established when the financial industry created securitization in the ’70s, which in the ’80s was mass commercialized.
  • 'The Big Short' has depicted three types of mortgage bonds which are the SMB or Subprimes mortgage bonds, also considered as the basic bond. The Mortgage-backed security (MBS) and CDO or collateralized Debt Obligations.
  • Before 'The Big Short' was released, Brad Pitt worked on another movie adapted from one of the Michael Lewis books ‘ Moneyball’.
  • The real Michael Burry has the habit of walking around with no shoes in the office.
  • There is a cameo scene in the Big Short of a Scion employee, and it is none other than the real Michael Burry. Where Michael Burry a stock market investor.
  • Christian Bale and the real Michael Burry spent approximately 12 hours talking to each other over visits and phone calls.
  • Michael Burry was introduced to the concept of the stock market while he was just in second grade.
  • Between 2007-2009 the global economy for real went into recession.
  • Michael Burry, in real, went to medical school and was a doctor, and the true story behind the movie has confirmed this.


Is The Big Short based on facts? 'The Big Short' Movie is based on a book by Michael Lewis.

However, the characters have been improvised to some extent. The book depicts the rise and collapse of the real estate market in the mid-2000s. This book includes characters from real-life industry professionals such as Charlie Ledley, Jamie Mai, Michael Burry, and more.

What did The Big Short teach us? 'The Big Short' is complete guidance to our financial lesson, and one of the major lessons is that it is better to be resilient as putting everything in one go poses a high risk of losing everything at once.

Besides, the movie also teaches us not to underestimate any risk, to trust our gut, and to have control over the greedy nature of human beings.

Who are the real people behind The Big Short?
Major characters in this movie are established upon real people with true stories, such as Baum and Steve Eisman. While Charlie Geller was based on Charlie Ledley, Jamie Shipley was based on Jamie Mai, and Ben Rickert was also based on Ben Hockett.

Who made the most money from 'The Big Short'?
Michael Burry makes the most money.

How accurate is The Big Short?
The movie is based on a book, where our characters are fictional but inspired by real-life people and their stories. Besides that, the financial crisis that is portrayed in the movie is accurate. Thus the movie did justify it to some great extent.

Who made money in The Big Short?
Although it was Burry, who made the most money, Baum, Charlie, and Jamie also made money.

Who is The Big Short about?
The movie is about some people from the finance industry.

What is The Big Short movie about?
The movie is about the collapse of the real estate market as predicted through observation and research that brings out the flaws in the system.

What is The Big Short based on?
The movie is based on a popular book written by Michael Lewis that was published in 2010.

Why is the movie called The Big Short?
The term ‘short’ in this movie refers to betting against something. In this movie, we can see how Burry bets against the mortgage market. While the term ‘big’ implies the large amount of money involved in this bet.

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Written by Srija Chanda

Master of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

Srija Chanda picture

Srija ChandaMaster of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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