(post August, 2005)
Coming on January 11, 2007!
Since her newsroom revolted in July 2006, no publisher has been the object of such scorn and ridicule as Wendy P. McCaw of the Santa Barbara News-Press. A smart editor at the LA Weekly asked me to do a story about the legal posse around Ms. McCaw. You must be 18 or over to view the carnage of this train wreck! (Editor's note: Nominated for a Los Angeles Press Club Award for Best Business News Feature in 2007.)
Coming on November 12, 2006!
Terrorism got ya down? Wanna get two Denzel Washingtons for the price of one? Let's just blow this pop stand at the New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure section with a trip to the set of "Deja Vu," the new Jerry Bruckheimer-Tony Scott gumbo of romance, time travel, police procedural, and mad-bomber-on-the-loose thriller. Booooom!
Discovered on October 16, 2006! A web site visitor from Liverpool somehow found my Ozzy Osbourne interview done for Esquire. I thought it was stuck behind a pay wall, but thanks to one of those notorious content- sharing deals, it turned up here. If ya got the bucks, my Esquire interviews with James Caan and Suge Knight are compiled in a very cool book.
Coming on October 8, 2006! The actor Jack Black wanted to kick my ass when I rattled off the details of his financial deal on the upcoming New Line Cinema movie, "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny." To his credit, Mr. Black eventually realized that the mere thought that the New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure section would have ANY interest in this movie was a victory!
Coming on September 3, 2006! Strokes. Chronic depression. Cocaine. Yes, it's time to revisit the comeback-story-that-never-ends: Robert Evans. The Kid Who Refuses to Leave the Picture stars in this Sunday New York Times story. Dropping in to leave some quotes and boogie on with the mack daddy of 'em all are Sumner Redstone, Brad Grey, Graydon Carter, and a cast of thousands. What's not to love, baby?!!!
Coming on June 27, 2006! So what's the bottom line in the prosecution of private eye Anthony Pellicano and his rogue band of merry pranksters? According to this package in the Hollywood Reporter, Esquire, it's all about truth, justice, and respect for honest lawyers. And if you don't have a subscription to www.thresq.com, check out my four-part series on Pellicano at Movie City News: Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
Coming on June 25, 2006! He's not just another guy in a Range Rover, he's Richard Brener, Movie Executive Man! In this New York Times Sunday Arts story, watch as Brener, the wunderkind New Line Cinema executive who championed "Wedding Crashers," navigates the rough waters of Hollywood.
Coming on April 23, 2006! Writer-Director Craig Brewer caught tons of flack for "Hustle & Flow." For Brewer's second effort, he decided to play it safe with "Black Snake Moan," the tale of an old blues singer (Samuel L. Jackson) who chains Christina Ricci to a radiator in an effort to cure her of sexual addiction. Read all about it in the New York Times.
Coming on March 20, 2006! In the first 18 days since its launch in the third week of March, LA Indie, a Web site created by Mr. Johnson and devoted to the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping investigation, has beaten all media to three major stories in the scandal. Warren Olney's award-winning public radio program, "Which Way, L.A.?" (Real Player needed), devoted a show based on the site. Not bad for an investment of $11.95 in a Web hosting account!
Coming on Feb. 5, 2006! 18 months ago, some heavily-connected Russians released a local film called "Night Watch" in one-third of all theaters available in Russia and the Ukraine. The film did over $16 million in Russian box-office, breaking all records in the land of the czars. Now "Night Watch" comes to America. In a New York Times Sunday story, I look beyond the hype and under the covers. Can you spell R-U-P-E-R-T M-U-R-D-O-C-H?
Coming in December 2005! In Esquire magazine's annual "Best and the Brightest" issue, screenwriter James Vanderbilt talks to me about writing the mother of all serial killer flicks, "Zodiac," and his upcoming adaptation of another tale of natural born killers, Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies."
August 15, 2005: Mike Ovitz Ten-Year Tribute Special is Now Online! It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Ten years ago today, Ovitz walked out of CAA into a cruel, unforgiving world. Myself, Richard Lovett, Jeff Berg, Jimmy Wiatt, Gavin Polone, and the unforgettable Arnold Rifkin contemplated a kingdom without the Wizard of Ovitz. Read the story in that, ten years ago, was too big for its britches.
Coming on June 27, 2005! Last Feb. 28, wire reports listed the first claims in director Peter Jackson's lawsuit with New Line Cinema. But the first-day stories never listed the amount that Jackson was hoping to recover in his lawsuit, or the amount he'd already been paid by New Line. Guess who got those two numbers, plus the real gist of Jackson's claims, four months later in a business section front-page story in the New York Times?
The Real History of Dino, Andy, Mario, and Frans is Available Now! If you don't know the story of Dino De Laurentiis, Andy Vajna, Mario Kassar, Frans Afman, and those crazy guys at Credit Lyonnais Banque, you've never spent time with some of the wildest businessmen to ever put on a good suit. My 25,000 word, ten-part series first published in Screen International on the pioneers in the international film business is available now on newstands. (pdf. file of part nine)
Here's the intro to the May 2001 two-parter in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that tells the wild story of when Elie Samaha and Andrew Stevens went to the movies via their Franchise Films.Like all great indie film finance stories, it ended with a shrewd German stock market promoter grabbing all of the money and none of the blame, Anthony Pellicano listening in on wiretaps, and a lot of great-looking bimbos riding down Sunset in the back of limos.