LA Times writer Patrick Goldstein’s blog hasn’t been the most enthusiastically received thing in the world — some people are wondering why he’s taking his Big Picture smarts to the blog format, despite many obvious reasons. I can’t complain about it today, however. In fact I want to give him a fat handful of colorful peonies because he’s bothered to get Alan Horn, chief of Warner Brothers, to go on the record about Spike Jonze and Where the Wild Things Are. Horn says the studio remains committed to Jonze and his movie, though they hope he can make a movie that is, you know, for everybody.
“We’ve given him more money and, even more importantly, more time for
him to work on the film. We’d like to find a common ground
that represents Spike’s vision but still offers a film that really
delivers for a broad-based audience. We obviously still have a
challenge on our hands. But I wouldn’t call it a problem, simply a
challenge. No one wants to turn this into a bland, sanitized studio
movie. This is a very special piece of material and we’re just trying
to get it right.”
That’s not the most inspiring thing I’ve read all day, if only because I believe about half of it. But even stripped of spin, you can see how it’s in Warners’ best interests to keep this movie going with Spike as director. Goldstein points out how the studio’s pairing of artful directors with big ticket material has paid off (Nolan and Batman) and failed (the Wachowskis and Speed Racer). Just try not to speculate on which side of the equation Wild Things will fall, because everyone else is doing it for you. Furthermore, try not to let the fact that Warner Brothers recently took the film off it’s ’09 slate influence any prognostication. If Horn is to be believed, it’ll hit the calendar again when Jonze whips it into shape.