Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005
It looks like we can eliminate one of the numerous recent rumors regarding future projects for PTA. After seeing the report (at my site or Ain't It Cool News), PTA fired off a very funny email to Harry Knowles regarding the proposed partnership of producer Scott Rudin on the adaptation of Don Delillo's The Underworld. Here's his email (which as he states, has not been re-read or spell checked!)::SO, yeah, jeez, anyway.....um....I'm just off a flight from Japan and waiting for jet lag to set in but it hasn't.......I've had a few beers in the late afternoon sun at my big Hollywood director mansion....and jet lag isn't happening yet....soon...So: A few years ago, I read Underworld, loved it....was in the middle of writing Magnolia and saw a similar sort of thing...(sprawling, many characters....blah blah....) and I said, who owns this? Scott Rudin, said my agent...so I started to step into the Scott Rudin world.....actually, this all seems slightly revisionist....I believe he had actually called first....I was a Don Dellilo fan anyway, so I was gonna read it -- I think, yeah....maybe he was thinking, "ohh....Boogie Nights guy...lots of characters...epic size, he'll be good..." I had it as Dellilo fan and was casually reading it....his phone call made me more than casually read it....Whatever...all the things met in the middle, I went to meet him, honestly not knowing how the fuck I would ever do it as a movie.....I didn't love it sooooo much that I would just say, "fuck it, I'm gonna shoot every word and see what happens..." Which is what I want to do one day when a book really catches my fancy......and I just talked with him a bit....Scott Rudin is very interesting.He calls you. You call him back. He's not there. Fine. He calls you...you JUST miss the call....you call him right back...he's not there....fine...a Hollywood sort of thing... until you start to see a pathological pattern of THIS is how he does it....no mattter what....(Keep in mind: I was Mr. New Big Shot in town, so casually, jokingly, sort of, with his assistant I would say things like, Here is where I am...if he doesn't call me back in ten minutes I will never speak to him again....This is really silly don't you think Mr. Assistant Man? Right, right....I'm sure you know....why do you seem so frightened Mr. Assistant Man? Is someone hurting you? Huh....I guess I've heard stories about this fellow....but he sure does corral some talented people into working for him....how can you work with seriously gifted auter directors and be an overbearing producer...you can't....you have good material and you leave them alone and blah blah blah.....right? sure.) We met, it was fine....he told me some gossipy type stuff about Martin Scorsese (tailored shirts, etc.) how Shaft was gonna be...how much he loved Bill Macy (uh-huh.) .....He was great.....I called a few days later and said, listen, I'm too into my own thing and I can't do Underworld so good luck with it....he said, thanks for being so upfront and great, yadda-yadda....In the meantime I have heard three or four horror stories from close personal friends of mine who have made films with him.....You can probably do the math and deduce who they are......they just say, "what the fuck...." They never really tell specific stories....none of them are really able to enunciate or structure WHAT it is or HOW he is...they all just mumbles things about...."motherfucker.." "holy christ..." "pathological..." and on and on....Now, maybe I have an odd bone to pick because in the recent, WONDERFULLY INFORMED AND ACCURATE "Power Issue" of the fantastic Premiere Magazine...Anway, in the IT'S TRUE section...y'know how it works I assume...it said something to the extent of Rudin passed on Anderson project due to elaborate creative demands....(In other words, he turned me down from making a movie with him...(god knows, I SURE DO NEED A PRODUCER....(making movies is sooooo impossible if Scott Rudin isn't there....) because of contractual things...Now the problem becomes: You feel like a hot shit because you've made the stupid list (which you shouldn't care about but do) and it's completely invalidated and ruined because the TRUE part is wrong....so basically, it shatters years of Childhood admiration and insight that you THOUGHT you had when you read Premiere magazine and they sold you on the fact that they REALLY did have it right...but now it's you and it's wrong...and you realize how many times you believed them....dammit....That makes me less powerful...I forefit my position from the Power 100...what's that? You say I lost it already...well, fuck you then....I forefit anyway.(Yes I am in writing mode....can't you tell...what? So I write long movies, what's wrong with that -- are you saying I can't not write a long e-mail, damn you to hell, that's it, conversation over...)Ok. That was uncalled for. Anway: No, I'm not doing Underworld.Ok. that's that. I am fading. I won't go into the dream (true) I had about you a few nights ago while I was in hawaii.....(swear to god...) Jist: You were about three inches tall and on the beach in a floatie-ring thing....But that's for another time....Keep up the good work.pppppppspsssssssspppsss......off topic: Are you a Monty Python fan? I'm sure you are.....as am I....and always have been....but I'm currently in a fascination phase with them......What The Fuck? Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.See ya. (un-read and un-fixed....completely stream of conscious...)PTAHere's a excerpt from an interview that Ain't It Cool News (I'm starting to feel like a Harry Knowles reject) did with Kevin Smith. They brought up the Magnolia controversy & here's what Kevin had to say:Sure. Yeah, lots. There was a lot of shit during the past few months over me not liking MAGNOLIA and it’s not like I would avoid a Paul Thomas Anderson flick like the plague, I just didn’t really like MAGNOLIA. I loved BOOGIE NIGHTS. It’s a really good flick and HARD EIGHT was fine, but BOOGIE NIGHTS was amazing and really well-done and MAGNOLIA just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I would see something Paul Thomas Anderson does in a heartbeat. Unless it’s MAGNOLIA 2.