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Thompson on Hollywood

Moneyball Update

It was a bad week for Steven Soderbergh and his $57-million screen version of Michael Lewis's baseball book Moneyball, which Sony shut down as of Friday--with a Monday start-of-production date. (How odd that "producer" Michael DeLuca was on his honeymoon last week and still has not returned. Soderbergh's producer Greg Jacobs was in charge, clearly.) The problem with the Sony spin over the weekend is that it doesn't make sense for Sony chief Amy Pascal to be suddenly discovering that she didn't like a script that had been in circulation--and active pre-production for weeks. Soderbergh was open about his documentary-like approach, and had obtained Major League Baseball cooperation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 22, 2009 6:40 AM
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Studios Get Tough; Sony Puts Moneyball in Play

In the overall scheme of things, a $57-million budget is pocket change to a studio, especially a big-spender like Sony. So why would Sony chairman Amy Pascal risk alienating a star like Brad Pitt and a director like Steven Soderbergh by pulling the plug on baseball movie Moneyball hours before it was to start shooting? She's sending a message to Hollywood, loud and clear. She's asserting her power to just say no. Finally, in this economy, the studios are spending less on fewer available slots. That's also what Brad Grey is signalling at Paramount by ditching production execs John Lesher and Brad Weston: he's saying, "There's no room for error."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2009 6:57 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Studios Gets Tough; Sony Puts Moneyball in Play

In the overall scheme of things, a $57-million budget is pocket change to a studio, especially a big-spender like Sony. So why would Sony chairman Amy Pascal risk alienating a star like Brad Pitt and a director like Steven Soderbergh by pulling the plug on baseball movie Moneyball hours before it was to start shooting? She's sending a message to Hollywood, loud and clear. She's asserting her power to just say no. Finally, in this economy, the studios are spending less on fewer available slots. That's also what Brad Grey is signalling at Paramount by ditching production execs John Lesher and Brad Weston: he's saying, "There's no room for error."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2009 2:19 AM
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Swedish Trilogy on Tarantino/Pitt Wish-List?

So far, with the exception of Jackie Brown (based on an Elmore Leonard novel) Quentin Tarantino has preferred to direct and write originals. While he has exec-produced a few things and been tempted by the odd Speed Racer or James Bond, he has never rarely succumbed to adaptation temptation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:20 AM
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Cannes: Winners and Losers

Who came out ahead and behind on their Cannes jaunt this year?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2009 3:02 AM
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Tarantino Update

In my interview with Quentin Tarantino, he admits that he plans to go back to the editing room with Inglourious Basterds this June. He rushed the movie, getting it done in less than a year to make Cannes, and delivered a cinephile's fantasy:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 25, 2009 8:25 AM
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Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino Talks

As Cannes wound down, writer-director Quentin Tarantino sat down for an interview about his long-awaited World War II opus, Inglourious Basterds. We talked about issues of structure, length and purpose:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2009 7:37 AM
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Cannes: Brangelina, Carrey and Pattinson Hit Croisette

Wednesday night some badly needed star power arrived on the Croisette for the opening night of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Brad Pitt did the press rounds during the day, and showed up at the black tie premiere with Angelina Jolie on his arm. Later they had a great time at the Basterds late night beach party, hanging in the jammed VIP corner with Robin Wright Penn, Til Schweiger, Eli Roth, Emile Hirsch, Michael Fassbender (who was grooving to Guns 'n Roses), Daniel Bruhl, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Thierry Fremaux, Bryan Lourd, and Hylda Queally.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2009 9:07 AM
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Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds Plays Cannes

Nowhere but Cannes would 2500 media urgently assemble in one place to see a movie at 8:30 AM. As Quentin Tarantino himself said at the jam-packed Inglourious Basterds press conference, "There's no place like Cannes for filmmakers on the face of the earth. It's Cinema Nirvana during this time here on the Riviera. Cinema matters. It's important. Even when people boo --out of passion--it's not just images glazing over you. All the world film press on the planet earth, America, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, even Canada--that's a country--something about them all being here, you drop the movie--bam!--at once everyone weighs in at the same time...I'm not an American filmmaker, I make movies for the planet earth and Cannes represents that."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2009 9:29 AM
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Tarantino Hypes Inglourious Basterds on American Idol

Tuesday night, American Idol mentor Quentin Tarantino returned to the show sporting a Nazi haircut. Needless to say he didn't miss a chance to hype his World War II action epic set to debut at Cannes, Inglourious Basterds, with new footage. Here's the clip featuring Brad Pitt and Mike Myers as a British military mastermind who plots to wipe out Nazi leaders. The Weinstein Co. opens the movie stateside August 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2009 8:26 AM
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