The Duke brothers in Trading Places remind me of the Koch brothers, and based on a quick google search I'm definitely not alone. Is there any evidence that the characters in the film were at least inspired by real people?
The orange juice trading scheme was likely based on an attempt to corner the silver market by the Hunt Brothers....
The story about the Dukes' cornering of the orange juice market was probably inspired by the "Silver Thursday" market crash of March 27, 1980, when the Hunt brothers of Texas tried to corner the silver market and subsequently failed to meet a one hundred million dollar margin call.
The characters themselves were supposedly inspired by two brothers who were doctors.
The idea for the film was inspired by a tennis game. "There were these two brothers who were both doctors who I would play tennis with on a fairly regular basis, and they were incredibly irritating to play with because they had a major sibling rivalry going, all the time about everything," Screenwriter Timothy Harris explained. He presented the idea of brothers arguing the "nature versus nurture" debate to his writing partner, Herschel Weingrod, and the two went to work.