Update: Unstoppable budget problems now stopped
The news came that Denzel Washington left the Unstoppable film, the film that would see him reunite once again with director Tony Scott in a film co-starring Chris Pine about an out of control train filled with dangerous chemicals. Think Speed on, well, speed.
It would seem that he left due to budget issues on the film, as it was being asked to squeeze its budget, he wasn't willing to so he left. However not only do I think that might breathe some fresh air into the project, it'll free up a load of cash for the film itself.
If the reports are to believed, Denzel Washington was asking some US $20 million for the film, whereas Tony Scott was taking a mere US $6 million, which was being squeezed from US $9 million to try and save money on the film.
Now with Washington leaving the project that's a hell of a lot of money freed up for the production itself, and the production could use it considering the studio were all for cutting it even more according to Variety.
The reason they were giving is the superb excuse going around just now, “current economic climate”. Wherever you are you'll be hearing that phrase banded around whenever quality, quantity or availability of products or services are in question or on the downturn, and sometimes it's just not true.
In this case for example, the article is suggesting that the studio are getting wary of these types of project, especially since The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 has only taken in US $60 million, a film which is technically only half way through it's release schedule and hasn't even seen most of the rest of the world, including the UK.
Could it perhaps be a case of poor quality over the “current economic climate”? Of course there's the possibility that the audience are being a bit more frugal and not throwing their cash at every film released and being much more choosy, and they are choosing the big budget poor films rather than the slightly less budget poor films.
All in all I think it's about quality and marketing. In the UK I haven't seen any marketing for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and it's due out in two weeks or so, and for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen I'd seen tons by now, I was positively bored of it.
Perhaps that also has something to do with it.
All that aside though, the fact that the director was only getting US $6 million for the film while the lead was wanting US $20 million was pretty obscene. Now the lead is off the film there's some US $20 million to play with.
Here's what they should do, promote Chris Pine from the supporting actor to the lead of Unstoppable, pull in a lesser actor for the co-starring role, and use the rest of the money on the film and the promotion. I bet you they get a healthier return after that.
Perhaps it's actually good news that Denzel Washington has left the production?
The news today is that Denzel Washington is back on the project after the studio and all the people involved managed to sort out the financials. Now the film is back on the rails and looks to be full steam ahead. According to Variety through JoBlo a compromise has been reached, which probably means Washington lost the game of hard ball and had to accept a lower offer. The film moves forward with the original date and team.