A trailer for ‘BlackBerry,’ a ‘true story’ about the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone, has been released.
‘BlackBerry,’ marked as comedy and drama, stars Glenn Howerton, best known for his role in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Jay Baruchel.
The trailer starts in 1996 when co-founders Mike Lazaridis (played by Baruchel) and Douglas Fregin (played by Matt Johnson) pitch the idea of a cellphone and email machine combination to investor Jim Balsillie (played by Howerton).
The device would work on the free wireless signal across North America, which Fregin likens to ‘the force’ in the movie set to hit theaters on May 12.
The story follows their relationship, the release of the first Blackberry, legal disputes and the smartphone giant’s loss of dominance in the market to Apple and Samsung.
A trailer for ‘BlackBerry,’ a ‘true story’ about the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone, has been released. The film is set to be released in the US on May 14
‘A company that toppled global giants before succumbing to the ruthlessly competitive forces of Silicon Valley,’ reads the storyline description on IMDB.
‘This is not a conventional tale of modern business failure by fraud and greed.
‘The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway.’
The film was directed by Matt Johnson, who also stars in it, and co-written with producer Matthew Miller.
‘The BlackBerry was the status symbol of the early-2000s and at the beginning of the social-media era, it made you part of a group,’ Johnson said in a statement.
‘The BBM perfectly captured that, like you can’t talk to somebody on BBM unless you both have Blackberries, it opened up a new way of communicating, way before Instagram DMs or Snapchat.’
The Torontonians detail the uniquely Canadian story of the world’s first smartphone, created by Research In Motion (RIM).
RIM was founded in 1984 by Lazaridis and Fregin as students at the University of Toronto.
The trailer starts in 1996 when co-founders Mike Lazaridis (played by Jay Baruchel) and Douglas Fregin (played by Matt Johnson) pitch the idea of a cellphone and email machine combination to an investor
Jim Balsillie (played by Glenn Howerton) invests in the company and it takes off from there
‘Recounting the Canadian company’s humble yet chaotic rise to market dominance is a darkly comedic telling of the tragic tale of a Canadian company that revolutionized the way we communicate before swiftly plummeting into obsolescence,’ according to production company Elevation Pictures.
The trailer begins with the co-founders screeching into a diner’s parking lot, late for a meeting with Balsillie, a potential RIM investor.
‘Ok, picture a cellphone and an email machine all in one thing,’ Fregin pitches Balsillie.
‘There is a free, wireless internet signal all across North America and nobody has figured out how to use it.’
The trailer takes off from there, showing the development of the prototype of the first BlackBerry handset released in 1999, a two-way pager with a keyboard.
The handsets rapidly added ‘push email,’ which arrived as it was sent.
This service was nearly unique – other early smartphones tended only to collect email when users pressed a button.
BlackBerry became popular with business IT departments because the email was secure and remotely manageable.
And the company exploded from there.
The story follows their relationship, the release of the first Blackberry, legal disputes and the smartphone giant’s loss of dominance in the market to Apple and Samsung
In 2002, Lazaridis and Fregin released the company’s first smartphone, which instantly became the must-have technology in the business world shortly after the public
In 2002, Lazaridis and Fregin released the company’s first smartphone, which instantly became the must-have technology in the business world shortly after the public.
BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, was the most popular messenger at that time, captivating the public with a new form of communication.
‘Seemingly overnight, the three men revolutionize the way people work, communicate and connect, according to Elevation Pictures.
‘Celebrities, politicians and businessmen are now addicted to their Blackberrys.’
Consumer handsets included the slim BlackBerry Pearl and an ill-fated touchscreen, Storm – and Pay-as-you-Go handsets.
In 2009, America’s Fortune magazine named RIM the fastest-growing company on Earth.
‘The company’s value skyrockets, yet within a few short years, shady business dealings, personal grievances, and, perhaps most dangerously, the iPhone, threaten the company’s incredible success,’ Elevation Pictures stated.
RIM’s handsets failed to keep up with the app-heavy approach of rivals iOS and Android, and market share slumped as more versatile iPhone and Android handsets became consumer favorites.
By November 2012, BlackBerry’s market share in the US had dropped to just 7.3 percent, with Google and Apple claiming 53.7 percent and 35 percent, Investopedia reports.
Despite declining sales in the US, the company continued to succeed globally, reporting 77 million users globally during the last quarter of 2012.
However, the company was still struggling in the US, forcing Balsillie and Lazaridis quit their roles as co-CEOs and co-chairs.
Fregin acted as vice president of operations until he retired in 2007.
In 2014, BlackBerry recorded an $84 million loss in the first quarter, which was followed by a 30 percent decline in the share price on the day after the announcement
Two years later, BlackBerry lost its domination in the mobile market and only 23 million users were left, compared to 85 million users in 2013.
And this was the last time the company made its smartphones.
As of March 2023, BlackBerry is worth 2.16 billion.
The movie is an adaptation of the bestselling book’ Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry,’ written by Canadian journalists Jacquie McNish, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and Sean Silcoff of the Globe & Mail.
‘It’s funny that the film is based on a book called The Rise and Fall of Blackberry,’ Miller, the movie’s co-writer, said in a statement shared by Elevation Pictures, the Canadian distributor of the film.
‘Because to me, they’re a huge success story. I know people think they’re a bit of a joke because of their rapid downfall, but they also had a meteoric rise.
‘Blackberry is some of the best of what Canada is capable of.’