Michael Douglas is set to reprise his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko from Oliver Stone's Wall Street movies. But you won't have to go to the multiplex to see him: The performance is in a public service announcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation warning against insider trading.
The 60-second PSA, according to reports Tuesday, is airing on CNBC and Bloomberg Television. According to the New York Times, the government hopes the video will garner witnesses and tips about Wall Street wrongdoings.
The FBI felt that the Gekko character, which originated in 1987's Wall Street and returned in the 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, is the face of crime on Wall Street.
If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, Douglas intones in the PSA. The movie was fiction, but the problem is real.
Observers surmise that because insider trading hasn't historically been a high priority for the FBI, those with information on illegal doings might not know where to turn. The more people out there aware of the problem, the more opportunities we have to get tips, said Supervisory Special Agent Richard T. Jacobs. The FBI hopes the PSA encourages those with information to come forward.
The FBI was able to send out its important message with the help of a production team that worked for free. The bureau was also able to arrange for some networks to show their PSA.
If Douglas's role in the PSA proves successful, will the agency turn to other stars and their movie characters for help? The bureau could turn to Harrison Ford to fight terrorism for his role as President James Marshall in Air Force One. In the fight against cybercrime, there is no one better than Bruce Willis's John McClane in 2007's Live Free or Die Hard. But the real PSA winner would be if James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano were tapped to fight against organized crime.