Earlier this week Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn shed some light (by way of The Playlist‘s Corey Everett) on how his Harrison Ford project The Dying of the Light fell apart. What is Ford’s basic malfunction? He bails on this plus Traffic, Syriana, A History of Violence and A Walk Among the Tombstones and instead makes stuff like Cowboys & Aliens?
In early 2010 Refn partially explained the situation. “Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out,” Refn said. “It’s a shame. The script was fantastic but things fall apart. It’s one of those things that’s difficult, I really like Harrison and I think we got along great.”
The real story of Light‘s collapse was passed along by Refn at a sneak screening of Drive at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Wednesday, 9.14. Everett posted his story today.
Jay Roach‘s Game Change, the forthcoming HBO film based on John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s book about the 2008 election, will apparently deemphasize the Democratic side of the story (Obama, Hillary, John Edwards) and ignore it entirely in terms of actors cast as principal Democrats. The focus will be on the Republicans, particularly John McCain (Ed Harris), Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) and their handlers.
I understand this approach entirely. It makes perfect sense. If I was going to direct or produce a feature based on Theodore H. White‘s The Making of the President 1960, I would probably do the same and focus only on Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge.
Every time I see a film shot in India, I vow to myself that I will never, ever visit that country for any reason. The dust, clutter, mobs, poverty, etc. Nor will I ever visit Bangkok due to the footage of that city in The Hangover, Part II. Vietnam, however, is another story. One way or another I’ll get there.
According to Awards Daily‘s Patrick Mullen, Paddy Considine‘s Tyrannosaur “was met with an enthusiastic standing ovation at last night’s [Toronto Film Festival] screening…one of the few I’ve seen at the festival this year and well deserved.” Which is analogous to what I’ve been saying all along.
Bill Maher and Keith Olbmerann‘s “Republican membrane man” routine happened last night. I’m also a huge fan of Maher’s analogy riff (delivered last summer) about Republican voters and the Casey Anthony jury. I laughed out loud (rare for me) at Maher’s riff about how Republicans are so insanely anti-Obama that if he said “I like your smile” they’d shoot themselves in the face.
I had one immediate reaction to last night’s Wrap report by Joshua Weinstein that Warren Beatty and Paramount Pictures have parted company over his Howard Hughes movie, and that Arnon Milchan‘s New Regency will now finance the film. That reaction, which I muttered to myself as I sat in a Brooklyn club listening to Starfucker, was “hey…Peter Bart predicted this!”
Three months ago Bart privately remarked to a journalist friend that Beatty’s Hughes movie probably won’t happen at Paramount. “But it was just announced,” I said. “With [Paramount chief] Brad Grey talking about what a delight the script is.” My friend replied, “I’m just telling you what he said.” Bart was probably alluding to the Beatty issues that have arisen when he’s made films before — costly exactitude, extra expenses, complications, disputes, slower progress than anticipated and all the other things that occur when a filmmaker is ultra-careful and particular.
Two or three weeks later I asked Bart about this when I ran into him at an event. He shrugged and smiled and said he might have been mistaken, and the subject was dropped. But Bart was a Paramount production exec in the ’60s and ’70s (and later worked in a similar capacity at MGM and Lorimar) and dealt with Beatty directly, and to some extent obviously knew whereof he spoke.
“Warren’s script is quintessential Beatty, elegantly written and wonderfully entertaining,” Grey said last June when the Hughes-Paramount deal was announced. “It is our privilege to have one of the great artists in the history of the film industry come home to Paramount.”
Everyone keeps repeating that the Hughes movie” is expected to go into production later this year.” I’ll believe it when it happens.
A N.Y. Times/CBS News poll has President Obama with a 43% approval rating, which “is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency.” Jeff Zeleny and Megan Thee-Brean‘s story adds that “Ronald Reagan had an approval of 46 percent” at this particular time in 1983 “and the elder George Bush was at 70 percent” at this juncture in 1991.
This Reno air show disaster video prompts every other person to ask the same thing of him/herself. Is it better to know your death is imminent and to prepare for it over days or weeks or months (which would naturally entail the usual fears and trepidations) or to slam into oblivion in the space of a few seconds?
A World War II-era P-51 Mustang crashed yesterday into “a box area in front of” a Reno viewing stand filled with spectators. Three have been reported dead, including the pilot, Jimmy Leeward . Over 50 injured, body parts and chaos. “Mechanical difficulties may have caused the crash,” officials are saying. That or Leeward suffered some kind of blackout or seizure and lost control, which sounds unlikely given his reported excellent health and decades of flying experience.
According to Moviefone’s Sharon Knolle (which is to say an Entertainment Weekly interview that she’s quoting), Brad Pitt agreed to do Se7en only if the ending with Gwynneth Paltrow‘s head in the box would definitely be stuck to, and if his Detective Mills character would absolutely shoot Kevin Spacey in revenge.
“I will do it on one condition: The head stays in the box,” Pitt told Knolle. “Put in the contract that the head stays in the box. And he’s got to shoot the killer in the end. He doesn’t do the ‘right’ thing, he does the thing of passion.”
But iffy test screening reactions led to “some execs” getting cold feet. “They go, ‘You know, he would be much more heroic if he didn’t shoot John Doe,” Pitt recalled. “And it’s too unsettling with the head in the box. We think maybe if it was the dog’s head in the box…'”
Se7en was a New Line release, so the execs who mostly likely suggested a dog’s head instead of Paltrow’s were….? If I had to guess I’d say it was probably former New Line toppers Bob Shaye or Michael Lynne. Or perhaps exec producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson.