Monday, April 12, 2010
Looks like no one can save "Cartel" from being shut down. Universal has canned the $42.5 million film before it soared over budget.
The studio felt it wasn't a strong enough script to continue to sink money into when they were sure there would be no significant profit from the film.
A remake of the 1993 Italian film La Scorta, (because we needed another remake) the film was set to star Josh Brolin. Though a talented actor, the studio wasn't sure that this film would net any profits as it's budget continued to climb. But no worries for Brolin as he has a "PAY-OR-PLAY" deal with the studio. This means he'll still net his 7 figure salary even though the film will not be made. How nice for him.
I'm going to say what most people in this industry won't say, Why the Fuck are studios plummeting their businesses into the ground with rehashed ideas and untalented writers?
If a company knows they don't like the script, then why begin pre-production? They waste the time of everyone involved in the project. Now all of those crew members are out of work because the project was weak to begin with, this is bad business.
Looks like the only one walking away safe is Josh Brolin. Good for him and his management team for covering their bases. They probably knew the project was doomed when Sean Penn walked away and figured this was a safety net.
I do not agree with actor salaries. Maybe, one day I'll eat those words if I ever bank 7 figures for a role, but let's be honest, does Josh Brolin deserve a 7 figure salary for not doing any work?
The money Universal sank into getting the film this far into pre-production and then pulling out could have easily made 20 indie films.
Maybe they'll be more cautious before they greenlight a project that doesn't have a strong foundation.
read more on Deadline.