Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Hollywood Babble On & On... #15: The Happy Hobbits of Hollywood...

A big hat tip to Hollywood source Nikki Finke for the story about Bob Shaye, my rival for the position of CEO of New Line, making a settlement with LOTR auteur Peter Jackson for him to executive produce The Hobbit which New Line and MGM will co-finance.

So, what does it really mean, aside from a new line of cosplayers at every comic book and fantasy convention after the films are made?

Well, it's an obvious ploy by Robert Shaye to save his own hide.

He's hoping that this 'all is forgiven' attitude will extend to the New Line shareholders who are increasingly unhappy with his dysfunctional management style that managed to alienate filmmakers and audiences alike.

But will the board of New Line forgive and forget and renew his contract?

Only if they forget that Shaye started the feud with Jackson, delaying the continuation of a so far $3 billion+ franchise by years.

Only if they fail to notice that The Hobbit will cost the company mega-millions before a single frame is shot just to settle a massive lawsuit with the executive producer instead of just paying what was owed, when it was owed, which was a time when the company was more flush with cash and assets. (You know it has to be huge money considering the often childish bad blood Shaye created with Jackson that kept the feud going way longer than it should have and the original suit was for something like $100+ million.)

Only if they forget that Jackson was just one of many money-making filmmakers that Shaye drove away from the company with a mix of greed, contempt, and verbal vitriol.

Only if they forget the debacle of opening a $250+ million film (The Golden Compass) that presented religious people (especially Christians) as the villains at the beginning of CHRISTMAS TIME, which despite the company's spin will fail to turn a profit despite middling to good overseas box-office. (This is because New Line doesn't distribute outside the USA, leaving approx. 60% of box-office revenue in the hands of foreign distributors depending on their arrangement with New Line)

And there you have it.

It should take more than just a hug and an on paper deal to save Shaye's hide, in fact it's the studio management equivalent of putting one of those car air fresheners in a fertilizer factory. It's just a little hint of pine in a sea of shit.

That's why I'm keeping my name in as his potential replacement.

I think my campaign slogan says it all...


PS: I'm starting a pool where people can post their predictions of how long it will be before Shaye screws up The Hobbit deal.

I predict that he will drive away Jackson from The Hobbit within 48 hours of getting his contract renewed. (Taking into account the time zone differences between LA and New Zealand)

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment