Travolta and Pacino’s Gotti film bites the dust; Will Smith is the $50 million man – at least on Independence Day; Charlie Sheen is Charles Swan III and Sean Penn as well as Robert De Niro team for The Comedian.
1. Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father has been “put on hold”. The film which was set to star John Travolta, Al Pacino, Kelly Preston and Ben Foster has apparently hit a major financial stumbling block. Producer Marc Fiore was unable to raise the cash to pay the film’s stars and the director, Barry Levinson. The film was set to start shooting in January, but almost no pre-production work had been done – a major no-no for a project of this type.
Gotti has had many problems since it was announced, an October shooting plan was scrapped and the original director Nick Cassavetes bailed over scheduling conflicts, then actor Joe Pesci sued producers - when he was dropped from the film. He claimed that he was then given a smaller part than the one he had agreed to (that of Angelo Ruggiero) and asserted that his $3 million salary was cut to $1 million. Producers disagreed and counter-sued.
Will it ever make it to the screen? It might, but I doubt that it will do so with the likes of Travolta and Pacino.
2. Director Roland Emmerich is currently travelling the globe shilling his latest project; the William Shakespeare conspiracy thriller Anonymous. That film is something of a departure for the director, who is known for his big budget disaster movies like 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, but it looks like he’s returning to his comfort zone by directing not one, but two sequels to his 1996 hit Independence Day - they are collectivley known as ID4-Ever. While Emmerich and his writing (and producing partner) Dean Devlin are willing to return, it looks like star Will Smith is unwilling – if he doesn’t get a $50 million paycheck for both films.
Smith is arguably the biggest star on the planet at the moment and he doesnt come cheap, but Emmerich is also asking for a hefty sum for both movies and studio 20th Century Fox is conscious of overspending. Smith’s next film is Men In Black III; a film project has had extensive production and budget problems during its shoot.
I imagine that Fox might wait to see how that film fares at the box office before throwing down $50 million (and probably some serious profit participation).
3. Ever hear of A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III? Well, you have now.
The film, which is set to be directed by Roman Coppola (son of Francis) stars infamous Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen; Ghostbuster Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jason Schwartzman.
According to Variety:
“Sheen stars as the title character, a successful graphic designer whose fame, money and charm have made him irresistible to women. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, his life swirls into a downward spiral of doubt, confusion and reflection. Through delirious fantasies involving his many failed romances, he begins the hard road of self-evaluation to come to terms with life without her.”
Hmmm... sounds vaguely familiar.
4. Sean Penn is set to direct Robert De Niro in The Comedian.
De Niro will portray “a raging, past-his-prime comic,” while Kristen Wiig co-stars “as a woman who changess his life when they meet up in a community service program”.
Sounds like a riff on Martin Scorsese‘s 1983 film The King of Comedy. That film saw De Niro play an aspiring comedian who stalked his chat show host idol (played by Jerry Lewis).
Penn and De Niro previously worked together in We’re No Angels, the disastrous 1989 comedy directed by Neil Jordan.
That’s it for now. See you at the movies.