Postscript to yesterday’s riff about Pete Hammond‘s what-about-Zodiac? piece: a certain know-it-all is saying there’s no way Paramount is going to platform-release David Fincher‘s drama in late December in New York and Los Angeles because they don’t want anything else in the soup that might dilute their efforts, even a little bit, to get World Trade Center a Best Picture nomination.
The likelihood of this happening is just about zilch — ask anyone, it’s not in the cards — but WTC is the only pure-Paramount, pure-Brad Grey, pure-Gail Berman contender and apparently it’s a point of pride. Flags of Our Fathers and Dreamgirls are, first and foremost, DreamWorks productions, and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu‘s Babel isn’t pure-Paramount either but Paramount Vantage.
Zodiac, a deep-dish procedural about the hunt for a serial killer in the late ’60s and early ’70s, is not the sort of film that tends to attract Best Picture talk, but it might be good enough to wind up on some ten-best lists, and there’s a chance that this or that element (Robert Downey‘s supporting performance is said to be special) could be saluted by this or that group. But Paramount doesn’t want it released before 12.31.06, this guy is saying, because of a Quixotic dream that World Trade Center might lasso a Best Picture nomination.
How titanically lame is that?
The brilliant David Poland has written on his Hot Blog that “Paramount will NOT release Fincher’s Zodiac for Oscar contention this year. I would bet much on this. They not only have too many awards movies already, but World Trade Center has been given high priority, while Dreamgirls and Flags are expected to make their own gravy, the charge being led by Terry Press. There is less than 1 percent chance that Paramount would ever risk WTC for the sake of Zodiac. I know it gives bored people something to talk about, but it ain’t happening.” Listen to the tone in his words. Poland is smugly satisfied and content that a David Fincher movie is, he believes, going to be kept out of the 2006 Derby for the sake of Oliver Stone’s not-bad 9.11 movie. This news actually PLEASES him. What the…?