You then announce that you found a very tough little script called Rendition you want to do. You'll do it on the cheap. Anybody wanna help?
The correct answer is "Who do you need dead, Miss Witherspoon?"
There is some trepidation, of course, in the studio office. Let us produce a short play to illustrate how both the dilemma and the resolution may have played out:
Suit #1: In this movie you have brought me, Reese Witherspoon -- America's blonde shiksa sweetheart -- is married to an Arab who is wrongfully kidnapped by the Americans, and tortured. Because, you imply, stopping terrorism can sometimes be bad.
Suit #2: Yes.
Suit #1: Get the fuck out of my office.
Suite #2: If we do this, if we take this risk for her, she may spend her enormous marketplace capital on a project of ours in the future. Say, that script for Romantic Comedy #283 sitting there on your desk.
Suit #1: I am intrigued, but still trepidacious.
Suit #2: She may win an Oscar. She's done it before, it's a serious drama ... that would boost our profile, add to our marketplace capital, and insure profitability with the Oscar Bump.
Suit #1: Still not sure. Let us call Foreign Sales Guy.
Foreign Guy: (entering) I sensed you needed me.
Suit #1: Reese Witherspoon. Anti-war drama.
Foreign Guy: Budget?
Suit #2: Under thirty million. Gyllenhal's in it too.
Foreign Guy: Reese Witherspoon reading -- not even aloud, just sitting and reading -- will sell X million tickets worldwide. Gyllenhal's a bonus. You're covered.
Suit #2: Thank you, Foreign Guy.
Foreign Guy: You're welcome. Now excuse me, I have to go kill an African-American comedy two offices down.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Reese Witherspoon saves the Industry
Who says the world hates America? Foreign box office accounts for the fact that anti-war don't actually all flop financially. (Kung Fu Monkey)