It took a while for people to dig through the reams of information that came out of the Sony hack, but now we're getting down to the good stuff – chiefly, fiery emails sent between notoriously difficult producer Scott Rudin, Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal and Gone Girl director David Fincher with regards to the long-gestating and long-been-a-terrible-idea Steve Jobs biopic.
The exchange gets off to a good start, with Rudin palming off a phone meeting about Angelina Jolie's planned Cleopatra movie, which he brands a "mastubatory wank I have no time for" and a distraction for Fincher: "YOU BETTER SHUT ANGIE DOWN BEFORE SHE MAKES IT VERY HARD FOR DAVID TO DO JOBS."
Pascal outlines the stand-off in what is alleged to be an email to a Sony colleague:
Setting aside Rudin for a minute, Eric is mad about Fincher because he knows that after all this money and time we don't have a draft that could actually land a director. That's on him alone. So he's hiding behind outrage when he knows full well Fincher could get picked off by a good script at any studio. That's the truth.
Angie directed a movie and now she's ready for Cleo and it's not ready. Fincher is her silver bullet.
Except he's not.
He's perfect for Jobs and we don't even know what Cleo is, only what we want it to be. That's the same situation as Girl. A disaster.
Let's take a breath. Neither movie is going anywhere. Next weeks business. I will work on meeting.
This doesn't need to get crazy. We control the material. Jobs is awesome. Cleo can be a big commercial hit. They are ours. We don't work for these people.
Then, in alleged direct correspondence between Rudin and Pascal, Rudin continued to rant about "the insanity and rampaging spoiled ego of [Angelina Jolie]".
Things get so heated that Pascal is forced to respond in a sort of post-modern email poem, without a care for autocorrect errors:
'You better shut it down
That is what you said
That sounded like a threat to me
You know Eric and she have always wanted David and I have been the one saying no for two years
I have asked you to talk to her with me and you don't want to deal with it
David is all over this and they talk about it all the time
He talked about it at dinner I've been trying to talk to you about it
They are all beAt and they play games with each other
We knew how pissed she and Eric would be that we gave him the jobs script and if you don't think he made. Big ducking deal out if that your crazy
Have you forgotten how this works
He was great on jobs but we haven't gotten close to he hard part yet
We can't even schudule one ducking meeting
You and I have have the two biggest fights we have has in years
And we haven't even had a meeting yet
I tried I get a word In tonight with her but she was pissed off
I liked the script we got in December so did you
Don't pretend all thoes things didn't happen cuz it makes me feel like I'm going crazy
And you bet she is gonna make it uncomfortable for him and so is Eric
I don't he cares about discomfort anyway'
Rudin doesn't back down, and it's fascinating how award-winning director Fincher is referred to like a unit to be shipped and "shoved" around (emphasis added).
This is the last communication we are going to have on this.
'You're involving yourself in this massive ad pointless drama that is beneath you. You are entitled to say no. You've been consistent about it which was in fact your only obligation. If you engage in this again, we will end up losing Fincher on the one we want him to do and will be stuck with shoving him onto a movie with no script that, underneath it all, you know in your heart and your brain should never be made.
I've told you exactly how I want to do this material. It's the ONLY way I want to do this material. I'm not remotely interested in presiding over a $180m ego bath that we both know will be the career-defining debacle for us both. I'm not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat who thought nothing of shoving this off her plate for eighteen months so she could go direct a movie. I have no desire to be making a movie with her, or anybody, that she runs and that we don't. She's a camp event and a celebrity and that's all and the last thing anybody needs is to make a giant bomb with her that any fool could see coming. We will end up being the laughing stock of our industry and we will deserve it, which is so clearly where this is headed that I cannot believe we are still wasting our time with it.
If you want at some point to talk about this the way I pitched it to you —- which was a responsible way to make this subject with some proper cover for us all, and a proper price —- I'm happy to do it. I'm also happy to say all of this to Angie directly as I have no need to keep her happy and what I DO have is the right to determine for myself a) what I want to do with my own time and work, and b) what I want to do with material I incepted. I won't be part of this idiocy and I'm not —- and believe me, I am dead serious about this —- spending literally ONE more minute occupying one single inch of brain space with it.
There is NO relationship with any movie star — ANY one —- that requires our willingness to prostrate ourselves this way in the face of childish, irresponsible, willful and un-partnerly behavior. You don't want David Fincher on the movie. It's your right. Stop allowing yourself to be made to feel like a criminal for it.
That's the finish of this chapter for me. I'm done.'
Fincher ultimately backed out of the Jobs biopic, and obviously didn't wish to get involved in studio squabbles as is clear from this excellent quip:
You can read the full exchange (highly recommended) here.Reuse content