Among the best movies to kick off the summer movie season this past May, Matt Johnson’s Berlinale and SXSW selection BlackBerry stars Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, and Johnson in the story of the men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone. Backed by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), as part of the film’s financing, Johnson was contracted to deliver the project in three parts to air on the Canadian station, along with a theatrical release. Now that expanded version will also get a U.S. release as AMC have announced a special three-part television event. Expanding from the original film’s two-hour runtime, this new version features 16 minutes of never-before-seen footage. On AMC, BlackBerry will air in three parts on November 13, 14 and 15. All three episodes will be available on AMC+ on November 13.
“We are thrilled to bring BlackBerry to AMC and AMC+ in the form of this three-part limited series for television, featuring extended scenes and new footage sure to delight the fans of this lively and frequently hilarious true-life drama,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “This is a truly entertaining story with great performances, whether you are old enough to have owned one of these once ubiquitous devices or not.”
Rory O’Connor said in his review, “Johnson, who also stars as the amiable Fregin opposite Jay Baruchel’s introverted Lazaridis, is the Canadian director behind Operation Avalanche––a film that seamlessly blended documentary aesthetics with newsreel footage to tell the story of how the CIA (and not quite Stanley Kubrick) maybe faked the moon landing. Cosmetically, BlackBerry’s mise-en-scène isn’t a million miles off it: the camerawork is nicely fidgety and handheld, and events depicted are primarily based on reality––as is the TV footage, though this time Johnson stays closer to the facts.”
See the trailer below, along with our discussion of the theatrical version.