There is a disturbance in the Force…
Yes this is the time of great unrest. Minnesota kicking it off, flowing through LA, Detroit, New Orleans, Seattle, Washington DC and even NY.
Unrest, riots, murders and poor Target stores have been looted more times than Liberace played chopsticks.
So let me try and keep things focused here and see what’s new in entertainment this week.
Martin Scorsese is in the news again. He was shopping around a big budget movie called “Killers Of The Flower Moon” starring of course, the same people who are in all his movies these days, DiCaprio and DeNiro. It seems they all come in a set. If you wanna finance Marty, you gotta hire Cap and DeNiro. Comes with the package. I don’t know if Marty is scared his films will not get financed without the star power, or if he’s too lazy to cast people, or if he is so fragile maybe he can’t do his job without people supporting him all the time. Who knows. I mean I know Adam Sandler used the same people, but that was kinda fun. But soon even he stepped away from Buscemi and Turturro, and Kevin Nealon. Quentin uses the same people a lot, and that is starting to get annoying too. Can he do a single film without Sam L Jackson? I mean c’mon, there are other black actors out there. I know he’s not literally in every single one, but he is in most of them. Give the guy a vacation will ya? Thousands of black waiters are dying for a chance out there.
Anyway, back to Marty. So he was shopping around this film, “Killers of The Flower Moon” and everybody was interested, but nobody was interested. You know what I mean? They all placed bids on the thing, but no one really wanted to strike the big blow. With the stink The Irishman made who can blame them? Paramount originally had The Irishman, they passed on it, gave it to Netflix who needed a big name and lots of star power, and it sucked. It was almost 4 hours long and most people either fell asleep on their couch or walked out on the thing. I can explain all those Oscar noms it got too, and it wasn’t because the film was good. Marty was using brand new technology invented for de-aging and it was used in a brand new way, on set. Plus – you had Pacino, DeNiro and Pesci starring in the film – something that will never ever happen again. So they were “thank you” nominations, or “appreciation” nominations. Not to be taken seriously, and nothing ever came of them.
So point being, Netflix was done with Marty and all the drama and money that comes along with him. This film he was asking, more like demanding, $200 million, and he would not budge with any streaming platform or major studio.
Apple finally took the albatross. Now Apple and Marty have an interesting history, and Apple is not picking up the entire tab. Apple financed a doc by Marty about Bob Dylan, which is on Netflix now, I believe. No Direction Home, Bob Dylan. It’s about his early days and career and all that. Apple loves his docs, after all, he did direct the legendary Last Waltz, so they threw some money in. Paramount also has a history with the big guy – Wolf of Wall Street, Shutter Island, and the huge flop, Silence, released in 2016. Both Apple and Paramount were responsible for his Bob Dylan doc which was released in limited areas. I guess it went well enough for them to try again. I don’t know what kind of effect The Irishman had in their way of thinking, but Marty got his full budget and everything he asked for. Suckers.
Apparently Paramount had optioned the film first, and wanted to distribute it, but was nervous about the $200 million price tag. Universal and MGM were reportedly waiting in the wings – so Paramount went looking for a studio to helm the deal, as Paramount was only interested in distributing it in theaters. They were not having much luck so Paramount turned it over to Rick Yorn, who is both Marty’s and DiCaprio’s manager. (Now you know why Leo and Marty are always working together.)
Rick began shopping the project, with all 3 stars attached, Leo, Marty and DeNiro. Naturally he had a lot of bites. Two big hurdles to overcome were the budget and the script. Some studio brass liked the original script by Eric Roth much better than the re-write. The story was taken from a book by David Grann, bought for $5 million by Imperative Entertainment. Ultimately though someone bought it and bought in. Paramount preferred a streaming platform be the studio that produces this project so that it can have long life on a major service after the theatrical run, which could become the way Hollywood does business from now on.
Apple bought in and will throw the film on the Apple TV platform along with that Jennifer Aniston show and whatever the hell else they got going on over there. This will be Apple TVs second huge big budget grab for a feature film, the first being Tom Hanks’s written/directed project “Greyhound”. So I guess we know what direction they will be going in from now on.
Hey guys – thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter. Catch me every week here on Thursday. See ya then!