Pompeii epic destroyed?
It seems that the epic film that was planned for Pompeii may well be destroyed before it really got started, and it seems to be the biggest hit from the upcoming actors strike – that or something else happened and it seems that this was the easiest thing to blame.
The Director Roman Polanski has pulled out of the film which had a staggering US $100 million budget. We'd previously heard about the film and that Roman Polanski was set to create a film that looked at the destruction of Pompeii by Mount Vesuvius.
Adapted from the Robert Harris novel (Pompeii / Amazon.com) it was set to follow an engineer who was working on a Roman aqueduct and somehow gets caught up in the politics of the event fighting with the people to try and evacuate before the disaster. The usual story even back then.
We heard that the film was meant to be heavily CGI, hence the big budget, and the rumours at the time were that both Orlando Bloom and Scarlett Johansson were looking at roles. Well I guess not if the failure is down to the actors strike then.
If it is down to the actors strike though, why isn't it restarting? Why isn't the project just on hold? The news from Variety is that Roman Polanski has actually pulled out of the film. Even one of the producers said that he hadn't pulled out because a delay would clash with his schedule, he'd been working non-stop for the last eighteen months on the film. So why pull out? Why not just wait until after the strike and resume?
Producer Robert Benmussa said:
“We've been meeting agents and they've all said they can't commit beyond June 30, 2008 because of the strike. Unfortunately, we are scheduled to shoot in Southern Italy in August 2008.”
He also pointed out that millions have already been spent on the production. However he seems to be certain that the film isn't going to be over.
“I don't know what we are going to do yet...If Polanski is no longer directing, we'll have to completely remount the project. Distributors will also have their liberty to pull out of the film...We still have the book rights...”
So the project is actually going to go ahead without Polanski, but it still leaves the question of why he's dropped out with no other commitments and so much time piled into the project already.