By Benjamin Svetkey
Updated July 08, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht, James Caan
WRITTEN BY George Gallo, Andy Weiss
DIRECTED BY George Gallo

Luke Wilson describes his character in the true-life tale Middlemen as ”just a regular soft-spoken guy.” But this regular guy, a Texas businessman, became one of the wealthiest Internet entrepreneurs of the 1990s by hooking up with a pair of computer geniuses and figuring out a way for people to pay for porn online. ”Back in the 1990s, the Internet was like the oil business,” the actor says. ”People went from nothing to being totally overwhelmed with wealth.” Luckily for Wilson, inspiration for the role wasn’t hard to find: Christopher Mallick, the man his character is loosely based on, also happens to be one of the movie’s producers. ”He was there on the set every day,” Wilson says. ”I got to know him really well. You’d think the guy would be really zany or sleazy or something — but he was just a businessman. Just a guy who accidentally fell into the porn business and it took off like a rocket.”