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'Wall Street 2': Shia LaBeouf is in, Javier Bardem could play villain

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Wall Street 2, the ridiculously timely sequel to Oliver Stone’s blistering 1987 indictment of financial excess and corruption, is moving swiftly through preproduction toward an August 24 start date (rather than the Aug. 10 date reported earlier today on Deadline Hollywood Daily). Fox confirms that, as reported, Shia LaBeouf has committed to the lead role opposite Michael Douglas, who’s reprising his role as Gordon Gekko, the greedy tycoon who will have just been released from prison when the sequel begins. LaBeouf’s rep tells EW the Wall Street sequel will be his next project.

The story centers around an ambitious young trader (LaBeouf) who is engaged to Gekko’s estranged daughter and seeks Gekko’s advice when he suspects a super-successful hedge fund manager is to blame for his mentor’s suicide. Javier Bardem has reportedly been cast as the villainous hedge trader. But Fox insists that the actor hasn’t even met with Stone for the role — yet. The studio is hoping to have the movie in theaters by February 2010. –Additional reporting by Dave Karger.