If you’ve ever fantasized about being a billionaire and using your keen taste in movies to finance the pet projects and stalled films from your favorite directors- well know that someone out there is doing just that. Strangely enough, it’s a 25-year-old woman who has gone from living a party lifestyle right out of the Paris Hilton playbook, to bankrolling legit films like a little western you may have heard of called True Grit (along with her brother).
Megan Ellison is her name, and she’s the daughter of the sixth richest man in the world Larry Ellison, who owns the software company Oracle. This is a man worth something like 28 billion dollars and who had Steve Jobs as the photographer at his last wedding. His daughter seemed to be on track to be a full on billionaire-heiress nutcase, but she’s apparently grown to be a respected producer in Hollywood in recent years. Aside from True Grit she’s got The Wettest County in the World lined up, and she’s now flirting with financing both of Paul Thomas Anderson’s stalled projects, including The Master. That project is one many were very disappointed to hear had stalled, none more than myself. Inherent Vice was his pulpier replacement project, but I hadn’t heard it was having problems getting funded until now.
Both of these projects may see their budgets blossom out of Ms. Ellison’s checkbook, but there is no word of which project would come first. Vulture obtained this info, and if there details about Anderson’s progress with Vice are true –that’s he been working directly with author Thomas Pynchon and is already deep into a second draft– I would guess that’s the project he’ll start with.
While I’m very eager for PTA to get The Master made, a longer delay could actually make it more possible for him to line up the actors he wants and fit it into their schedules (Phillip Seymour Hoffman is at the center of the project, while Jeremy Renner has seemingly moved on).
Whatever project he moves forward on with his new partner, I just hope he gets started soon. It’s ridiculous that there will be five or more years between this man’s films.
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