If you were running Universal film production, would you have allowed Carl Rinsch, a director of Heineken and BMW commercials, to run up a tab of over $225 million on The 47 Ronin, an Asian martial arts epic starring Keanu Reeves (who, let’s face it, peaked as a box-office attractions at least a decade ago and has been swirling downward ever since)? I’m not talking about the logistical particulars and/or who might have screwed up. I’m talking about the basic bet. If you were running the show, would you have said “sure, sounds like a big winner!” or “who the eff wants to see a period thing with Keanu Reeves and a bunch of Japanese guys in robes fight with swords in 3D?”
TheWrap‘s Sharon Waxman wrote about this calamity a couple of days ago.