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Ego Problems Delaying Pitt Film on Jesse James


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There are a number of problems in Hollywood these days, and while most of them are minor, some as we are finding out today can have the potential to kill off a production entirely. Just a few days ago, there was news that Vin Diesel's repeated clashes with the director on the set of Babylon A.D. caused the man to suffer a nervous breakdown.

If you ask me, the root of all problems on a set can at one time or another be traced back to the actors. They are treated like golden idols by the media and public and it goes straight to their heads. The richer they get, the more they insist on having say in a films production, and it always starts with changes to the script, which should be totally off limits. Untrained and talentless actors have no business performing maintenance on the space shuttle, why would you then let them screw around with the blue print for a motion picture?

It doesn't end there, of course, because the next step is demanding to be a producer, grabbing even more power making the initial ego situation even worse than it was before.

Typically the two top dogs when it comes to making cuts of the film are the director and the studio. As far as the production team goes, the director is the top man on the job and has final say over everything around him. After he hands it off, the studio naturally makes the final cut that you see in the theaters. Rarely, and in fact probably never, does a producer or an actor get to make a cut of a film. It just doesn't happen, unless you're Brad "Jesus" Pitt it seems.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the key issues behind the brouhaha are the film's tone and over three-hour running time. The studio is said to have wanted more of a Clint Eastwood-style actioner, while director Andrew Dominik "wanted to deliver a dark, contemplative examination of fame and infamy, in the spirit of director Terrence Malick."

Dominik delivered his cut of the film, while Pitt, who is also the film's producer, cut his own version. The Times reports, "Various versions of the film were assembled and tested, with Pitt, producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and editor Michael Kahn (Saving Private Ryan) either overseeing new cuts of the film or suggesting revisions, according to people familiar with the process." To make matters worse, test screenings reportedly fared poorly.

As much as I hate that directors get final say over everything, it's a far better situation than having actors stick their pudgy little fingers into everything. Because of this, Pitt's film will probably look like a fractured mess.

Oh and by the way, whose idea was it to let Borat name this movie "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"? Yikes.
  • Looks like Scrubs is being shot in the back by NBC.
  • Joe Carnahan got a sneak peak at a Sin City 2 trailer from Robert Rodriguez. None for you, though.
  • George Lucas was on Conan, talking up the Star Wars animated TV show. Wait, I thought this was supposed to be live action?
  • AICN has a picture of Iron Man's armor suit, and I respectfully disagree with Merrick. It looks like a freaking Power Ranger nightmare. Has Stan Winston lost his touch?
  • More video features from 28 Weeks Later.
  • I was going to tell you that Neve Campbell is getting married, then I hit myself in the head with a rock.
  • Franke Miller has gone from zero to hero, looking to follow-up 300 with Ronin.
  • CBS nabbed the rights to air Million Dollar Baby which will bow on May 20th. Zzzzzzz.
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May 3, 2007, 3:57:00 PM
From the sounds of it, maybe Borat was on the righ track, except my suggestion would be "The assassination of the historical Jesse James by the talentless Brad Pitt" ~Too long? Darn.


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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.