While it’s entirely plausible that Oliver Stone’s Pinkville, a sprawling ensemble drama centered on the My Lai Massacre, has been temporarily halted due to the writer-director’s inability to rewrite throughout production (with co-writer Mikko Alanne), how was this not a major consideration during the completed-last-week casting process which rounded up no fewer than six name actors? I mean, what with Lions for Lambs breaking box office records all over the country, another politically-themed picture should be a cinch for the re-launched United Artists.
And, yet, it’s on hold. And that’s a bit of a disaster given the current state of the workplace, as every actor Stone lined up will now scramble for another pre-SAG strike gig – like Bruce Willis, who’s fled for Jonathan Mostow’s The Surrogates. I imagine Willis’s participation was helpful in selling the film to foreign markets (dig that foreign gross for Live Free or Die Hard); finding another actor with his global cachet once/if the project gets a quick geenlight after the strike ends – i.e. provided it ends sooner rather than later (and I’m not making any predictions) – will be difficult.
Meanwhile, another high-profile film has caught a temporary red light, but, unlike Pinkville, it’ll get made regardless. Still, the excuse that Angels & Demons, the sequel/prequel to The Da Vinci Code, is being held up on account of a problematic production draft is a hot one. To suggest that Akiva Goldsman needs more time to crack the material (which is allegedly better than its companion adventure) is akin to Michael Buffer asking for a line reading: these things don’t get thought through, they just get done. And while it’s nice to think we won’t have Angels & Demons stinking up the megaplex next year, it’s still only a matter of time before it hogs screens for a few weeks and then disappears to the next revenue window.