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Pitt, Bale, and Gosling will star in the story of the global financial collapse

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Three stars head up movie adaptation The Big Short

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Variety reports that Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling will star in The Big Short, a dramatic retelling of the collapse of the housing and credit markets that led to the global financial crisis of 2007. The movie is based on Michael Lewis' best-seller, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. Lewis' book focuses on several key figures who profited from or inadvertently helped bring out global financial disaster, including hedge fund manager Steve Eisman and Howie Hubler, the latter of whom lost $9 billion in one trade.

This is Pitt's second adaptation of a Michael Lewis book

Brad Pitt will be handling production duties through his own company Plan B, which recently worked on 12 Years a Slave, Selma, and The Normal Heart. This is Pitt's second adaptation of a Michael Lewis book; in 2011 the actor starred in Moneyball, based on Lewis' 2003 book of the same name, which told the story of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his novel statistical approach to team-building. Variety says Pitt has been "very passionate" about getting a movie based on Lewis' non-fiction best-seller made, and that the big-screen adaptation will likely give its three megastars fairly equal billing and similarly sized roles.

The planned movie is described as a financial drama, but with Anchorman writer Adam McKay handling the adaptation from book to film and directorial duties, The Big Short could well focus on some of the absurd and dark comedy inherent in the collapse of vast financial institutions.