Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Jonathan Demme's 'Honeymoon For Harry' Falls Apart After Robert De Niro Gets Cold Feet

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 18, 2011 at 1:02AM

The lament of the last fifteen years or so of Robert De Niro's career is a common one; the actor for the most part having traded in the challenging performances he made his name on in the 1970s and 1980s for a series of lukewarm comedies and pot-boiler thrillers. His last truly great performance was in "Jackie Brown" in 1997 and, while he does occasionally do good work -- last year's "Stone" was his best for ages -- audiences don't seem to care when he does. But the actor doesn't exactly help his own cause.
2


The lament of the last fifteen years or so of Robert De Niro's career is a common one; the actor for the most part having traded in the challenging performances he made his name on in the 1970s and 1980s for a series of lukewarm comedies and pot-boiler thrillers. His last truly great performance was in "Jackie Brown" in 1997 and, while he does occasionally do good work -- last year's "Stone" was his best for ages -- audiences don't seem to care when he does. But the actor doesn't exactly help his own cause.

The latest case is a once-mooted reteam with Bradley Cooper -- his co-star on this weekend's firmly OK "Limitless" -- on a Jonathan Demme-helmed comedy-drama, "Honeymoon With Harry." The project which was originally written by Paul Haggis, and nearly got made half-a-decade ago with Vince Vaughn and Jack Nicholson, follows an alcoholic (Cooper) who reforms his ways after falling in love with a girl. When she dies on the eve of their wedding, he relapses, crossing paths with her father (De Niro) on the honeymoon they should have taken.

Demme came on board the project last summer, alongside the two stars. Only a few weeks back, things seemed promising; Demme had brought on his "Rachel Getting Married" writer Jenny Lumet for a polish. The good news, according to Deadline, is that Lumet's new draft was well received by most, including backers New Line and Cooper. The bad news is, for whatever reason, it apparently didn't pass muster with De Niro, who has something of a reputation for indecisiveness.

A fed-up Demme decided it wasn't worth waiting for De Niro's approval, and tried to convince Cooper that they should re-cast the father's role and move ahead with the project regardless. But Cooper "didn't want to look disloyal" and declined. The studio wasn't able to reconcile Demme and De Niro, and the director walked off the project, leaving the film dead in the water at the studio. Demme's currently working on a CBS pilot from "Erin Brokovich" scribe Susannah Grant, with Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle, but may reportedly try to get the film set up at another studio once that's done.

It's important to note the source -- Nikki Finke -- so there's almost certainly spin here, to some degree, and there's bound to be another side of the story; it's possible that De Niro's concerns about the script are legitimate. However, we have a little more faith in Demme's script-reading abilities than the man who decided that "Righteous Kill" and "Hide and Seek" were worthwhile ventures. Either way, it's sad that the promising-sounding project isn't happening, for the moment at least.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Jonathan Demme, Honeymoon With Harry, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jenny Lumet


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates