An insider on the new Bad Lieutenant team, responding to the Abel Ferrara item posted earlier this morning, explains it all: “The whole reason the film was made was because [executive producer] Avi Lerner got hold of the rights, which he bought from Ed Pressman for an undisclosed sum. And he went out and pre-sold the film in ten countries for $30 million, or an average of $3 million per country.

“Lerner funded the film for $20 million, and pocketed $10 million for himself. Nic Cage, who likes New Orleans and owns a home there, took a substantial pay cut — only about $2 million — because he wanted to work with [director] Werner Herzog, who probably got his first decent payday check out of this deal. William Finklestein‘s script wasn’t good but Herzog upgraded it considerably. Lerner didn’t even look at the script.”