The makers of a biopic about the life and career of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell are going to fund it with a cryptocurrency. If you’re wondering the connection there, all you need to know is when companies like Kodak and an iced tea maker are getting into are getting into blockchain technology, it makes sense that Hollywood would also chase the trend.
Bushnell Tokens, as the filmmakers are calling this, are actually a kind of crypto-security more than they are something like Bitcoin. Officially speaking, it’s an an “ERC-20 security token,” which sounds like more of a security and less of a currency. Companies can use it to raise a bunch capital from investors (transacted in Bitcoin or Ethereum), on the expectation of future profit commensurate with that stake.
Owners of a Bushnell Token will be entitled to a share of profits and even receive voting privileges on key decisions of the film — to include approval of the official trailer and selection of cast members. The pricing and timing of the private sale will be announced in the coming weeks.
It’s all going to the as yet untitled film, which a news release said is “currently in pre-production.” Referred to as simply “The Atari flick,” it’s directed by Brian Hecker (directed 2008’s Bart Got a Room), written by Hecker with Craig Sherman (2002’s New Suit), and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way. The film project appears to have no formal connection to the present-day Atari company.
If you’re skeptical of what this really is and what it means, just consider it another form of crowdfunding, this one to make a movie. (Variety reported that the film’s makers are seeking $40 million.) But it also comes at a time when the Securities and Exchange Commission is subjecting cryptocurrency schemes to closer scrutiny, and Google and Facebook have banned cryptocurrency ads outright from their platforms.