Unrealistic Aspirations? 5 Ways Movies Make Us Want To Be Billionaires

More than half of people in the United States have said that they would want to become a billionaire. For many, it’s the ultimate benchmark of top-level success, and Hollywood has only made becoming a billionaire more appealing. Here are five movies that have set some expectations as to what it’s like to be mega-rich.

The Batman Series

When you think of fictional billionaires, the first one that comes to mind for most people is Bruce Wayne, who moonlights as the famous superhero Batman. The character has a long history in comic books and television shows, with Batman getting his first significant film release in the late 1980s when Michael Keaton portrayed the Dark Knight. Ever since then, people have wondered what they could do as a superhero if only they had the money.

Naturally, anyone that has the resources to fight crime wouldn’t have to have superpowers. Bruce Wayne isn’t an ordinary billionaire, though, as he’s incredibly gifted in hand-to-hand combat and is the world’s greatest detective. Batman had many of us thinking about what billionaires do with their free time, but unfortunately, they aren’t out in the streets of major cities at night making sure that criminals are locked up. There was one very realistic part about Batman, though, and it’s that he’s seemingly above the law like most billionaires. 

Iron Man

Bruce Wayne isn’t the only superhero who doesn’t really have powers, but instead access to resources thanks to a massive amount of wealth. Iron Man is Marvel’s version of Batman, with Tony Stark being a billionaire playboy who expanded his father’s business empire until realizing that he could do more good with his vast wealth. Iron Man had been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he became an A-list hero.

Many billionaires started comparing themselves to Tony Stark. Guys like Elon Musk, who even appeared briefly in one of the Iron Man films, have had this vision in his head of being the real-life Tony Stark with all of his gadgets and innovations. However, the Iron Man suit technology isn’t all that realistic, which is why it’s kept to the big screen despite how much money billionaires have thrown at recreating the armor.

Citizen Kane

We now go from billionaires who have access to technology that makes them superheroes to one that’s much more rooted in realism. “Citizen Kane” was released in 1941 with director Orson Welles also starring in the film. Welles took on the role of Charles Foster Kane, who was based on the real-life William Randolph Hearst. It wasn’t subtle, either, with Hearst being upset about the film and barring it from being mentioned in his newspapers.

The film showed people how much power they could have with access to billions of dollars, even if it wasn’t the most glamorous life. A lot of the film was realistic, though many scenes were dramatized for cinematic effect. In the end, we learn that billionaires are humans too, with Rosebud being the sled that Kane loved when he was a child. Even all these years after its release, “Citizen Kane” remains a favorite of critics due to its realistic portrayal of billionaires compared to the other films on the list.

The Wolf of Wall Street

If you want to take the extravagance of the superhero movies we mentioned while also telling a real-life story like “Citizen Kane”, then “The Wolf of Wall Street” is the movie for you. Directed by Martin Scorcese, the film follows Leonardo DiCaprio taking on the role of Jordan Belfort, the former stockbroker who ran into massive legal trouble thanks to his Wall Street schemes.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” shows both the high-roller side of making it big in stocks while also showing the massive downfall that can happen. People who saw it instantly wanted to become billionaires so that they could hang out with the likes of Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey while having a love interest like Margot Robbie. While it may have been close to the real life of Belfort, it was obviously hammed up a bit for the big screen.

Mr. Deeds

“Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” was released in 1936, but the version that gets more attention is the 2002 Adam Sandler comedy “Mr. Deeds”. The film had a lot of heart and showed what a lot of us would do if we were to become billionaires. Longfellow Deeds is a character who writes greeting cards and unexpectedly became a billionaire after the passing of his late uncle.

Instead of letting the money go to his head, Deeds spends most of his time giving back to the community, especially his friends and family. We all feel like we would be Mr. Deeds if we were to become billionaires, but money has a way of corrupting people.

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