The 2007-2008 financial crisis that caused so many people to lose their homes was no laughing matter, which could be why director Adam McKay has opted for a heist-movie tone in The Big Short. In the film’s first trailer, we meet the men who knew the housing bubble was going to burst, and decided to make money off the looming disaster.

The film, which is based on Michael Lewis’ book, The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, stars Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell as a pack of investors who benefitted from the subprime lending practices and unchecked greed of banking firms like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. It all starts with Michael Burry (Bale) warning of the impending crash (an event the real Burry thought any industry insider should have been able to predict). But he’s dismissed for having a bad haircut and not being Alan Greenspan.

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Burry eventually finds more sympathetic ears in Pitt, Gosling, and Carell’s characters, and a scheme is hatched to rip off the banks ripping off the American people. Of course, no one really stops to consider that they’re all just one step removed from also defrauding the public, because there are shortsighted investors and real-estate-hungry strippers to deride.

The Big Short will be released in theaters some time in December.