Coming on April 23, 2006! Writer-Director Craig Brewer caught tons of flack for "Hustle & Flow." The rap was that Brewer, a white guy, was treading on the wrong turf when he wrote about a black pimp and the neighborhood sidewalk pros. 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 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 on January 3, 2006! In June of 2004, a jury in Santa Ana found film financier Elie Samaha liable for $106 million in damages for allegedly defrauding Barry Baeres, Samaha's former partner. Five years after Baeres, a Munich stock market promoter, promoted the wildest story of 'em all - that Baeres had no idea what Samaha was doing with millions of dollars of Baeres's money - the truth comes out. And it's ugly.
Coming in January 2006! In the New York Times January 15 Academy Awards special, I profile actors who write screenplays. It's good news for Woody Allen ("Match Point") and Dan Futterman ("Capote").
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."
Coming on September 11, 2005 Don't call it "Peter Jackson's King Kong." Don't call it "King Kong: A Film by Peter Jackson." In the New York Times Arts & Culture section, I look at Universal Pictures' attempt to sell Mr. Jackson's upcoming remake of "Kong" as a great movie with a good story. Uummm, sounds retro.
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 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)
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Bryan Lourd at Creative Artists Agency loved this story. Of course, only Lourd has the clients who pull in the kind of bank that actually are affected by this information. For the 1/31/05 story in the New York Times that's causing all the ruckus, "Hollywood's Best-Kept Secret, "
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