A trailer has been released for ‘BlackBerry’, a ‘true story’ about the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone.
Marked as comedy and drama, “BlackBerry” stars Glenn Howerton, best known for his role in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Jay Baruchel.
The trailer begins in 1996 when co-founders Mike Lazaridis (played by Baruchel) and Douglas Fregin (played by Matt Johnson) pitch the idea of a combination cell phone and email machine to investor Jim Balsillie (played by Howerton).
The device would operate on the free wireless signal across North America, which Fregin likens to “the power” in the movie set that will hit theaters May 12.
The story follows their relationship, the release of the first Blackberry, legal disputes, and the smartphone giant’s loss of market dominance to Apple and Samsung.
A trailer has been released for ‘BlackBerry’, a ‘true story’ about the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone. The film will be released in the US on May 14
“A company that brought down world giants before succumbing to the ruthless competitive forces of Silicon Valley,” reads the description of the storyline on IMDB.
“This is not a conventional story of modern business failure due to fraud and greed.
“The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators hurtle down the information superhighway.”
The film is 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, you were part of a group,” Johnson said in a statement.
“The BBM captured perfectly that, like you can’t talk to anyone on BBM unless you both have Blackberries, it opened up a new way of communicating way before Instagram DMs or Snapchat.”
The Torontonians chronicle 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 begins in 1996 when co-founders Mike Lazaridis (played by Jay Baruchel) and Douglas Fregin (played by Matt Johnson) pitch the idea of a combination cell phone and email machine to an investor.
Jim Balsillie (played by Glenn Howerton) invests in the company and it takes off from there
Telling the humble yet chaotic Canadian company’s rise to market dominance is a darkly comedic telling of the tragic story of a Canadian company that revolutionized the way we communicate before quickly falling into disuse. .
The trailer opens with the co-founders pulling into the parking lot of a restaurant, late for a meeting with Balsillie, a potential RIM investor.
“Okay, imagine a cell phone and an email machine in one thing,” Fregin suggests to Balsillie.
“There’s a free, wireless Internet signal all over North America, and no one knows how to use it.”
The trailer starts from there and shows the development of the prototype of the first BlackBerry handset released in 1999, a two-way pager with a keyboard.
The handsets quickly added ‘push email’, which arrived as it was sent.
This service was almost unique – other early smartphones tended to collect email only when users pressed a button.
BlackBerry became popular with corporate IT departments because email was secure and manageable remotely.
And the business exploded from there.
The story follows their relationship, the release of the first Blackberry, legal disputes and the smartphone giant’s loss of market dominance 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 going public.
BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, was the most popular messenger at the time and captivated 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 business people are now addicted to their Blackberries.’
Consumer handsets included the sleek BlackBerry Pearl and ill-fated touchscreen, Storm and Pay-as-you-Go handsets.
In 2009, American magazine Fortune named RIM the fastest growing company in the world.
“The company’s value is skyrocketing, but within a few years, shady business dealings, personal grievances and, perhaps most dangerously, the iPhone threaten the company’s incredible success,” said Elevation Pictures.
RIMs handsets couldn’t keep up with the app-intensive approach of rivals iOS and Android, and market share slumped as the more versatile iPhone and Android handsets became consumer favourites.
By November 2012, BlackBerry’s US market share had fallen to just 7.3 percent, with Google and Apple claiming 53.7 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Investopedia reports.
Despite declining sales in the US, the company continued to be successful globally, with 77 million users worldwide in the last quarter of 2012.
However, the company still struggled in the US, forcing Balsillie and Lazaridis to resign from their roles as co-CEOs and co-chairs.
Fregin served as vice president of operations until his retirement in 2007.
In 2014, BlackBerry posted a $84 million first-quarter loss, followed by a 30 percent loss share price decline on the day after the announcement
Two years later, BlackBerry lost its dominance in the mobile market, with only 23 million users 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 film is an adaptation of the bestseller “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 movie is based on a book called The Rise and Fall of Blackberry,” Miller, the film’s co-writer, said in a statement shared by Elevation Pictures, the film’s Canadian distributor.
“Because for me they are a huge success story. I know people think they’re a bit of a joke because of their quick demise, but they also had a meteoric rise.
“Blackberry is one of the best Canada is capable of.”