Hollywood Can Be Murder Sometimes
♦ Over at The Hollywood Reporter, they have announced that Sony has just acquired Tarantino’s Charles Manson movie…
To acquire the project, the studio had to agree to Tarantino’s lofty demands, including, sources say, a $95 million production budget, final cut and “extraordinary creative controls.”
In the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, his career-long collaborator Quentin Tarantino’s next movie became one of the hottest projects in years on Hollywood’s auction block.
Sony Pictures Entertainment made a high-powered presentation Nov. 8 that included chairman Tom Rothman, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch and marketing president Josh Greenstein, but the studio had to wait on pins and needles for more than a week before learning it beat Warner Bros. and Paramount to land worldwide distribution rights to the film.
It’s a significant win for Sony given its currently anemic slate, but to acquire the project, the studio had to contend with Tarantino’s lofty demands, including, sources say, a $95 million production budget, final cut and “extraordinary creative controls,” plus a whopping 25 percent of first-dollar gross. Another demand was that the rights to the movie revert to him after 10 to 20 years.
The film, which has a working title of #9 (it will be Tarantino’s ninth movie), will have to make $375 million worldwide to break even, according to one source. Tough negotiations occurred between the parties and a Sony insider says that Tarantino did not get the full 25 percent of first-dollar gross that he had requested.
In July, THR revealed that Tarantino, 54, was working on the new movie, described as a 1969-set ensemble piece that in some way involves Charles Manson and the murder of Sharon Tate. Sony’s pickup came with no actors attached, but overtures have been made to such A-listers as Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.
Warners also made a splashy presentation — it decked out part of its lot and executive conference room in late 1960s regalia — and was thought by many to have the inside track due to the involvement of David Heyman, who came on board as a producer after it became clear that Tarantino would not be working with Weinstein. Heyman produced the Harry Potter movies for Warners as well as the Oscar-winning hit Gravity.
But Sony handled the foreign release of Tarantino’s 2012 spaghetti Western Django Unchained, which was the highest-grossing movie of his career, with $262 million of the $425 million total coming from international territories.
In a Nov. 17 email confirming the deal, Rothman wrote: “[Tarantino] remembers well the outstanding job the company did on Django, and was particularly impressed last week by the presentation of our marketing and distribution capabilities, both domestically and internationally.”