Screaming in the Background

12 Apr

Thierry called and told me he had a meeting the next day with Miramax about African (I was coincidentally halfway through Biskind’s book on Miramax: Down and Dirty Pictures).

Well, a day goes by and Thierry calls me in tears: “Miramax wants to do the film…they said it was a movie that had to be told…and that Baltasar Kormakur is the one to tell it.”

This is pretty wild news, but my capacity for hope is so cauterized I take it in stride. Thierry tells me he’d give me a big kiss on the lips if he was in the room with me and I tell him I’m glad I’m in Jersey. Then he tells me he’s flying to Cannes next week where he’ll have a second meeting with Miramax. Thierry pleads with me not to call Michael – he wants to be the one to give him the good news.

Later I get a call from Michael. I’m high-fiving him on the phone until he interrupts:

“I could hear Thierry’s wife screaming in the background – ‘If you go to Cannes I’m divorcing you, motherfucker! I’m taking the kids. I gave you until May 15. This fucking movie is never gonna get made.”

Thierry tells Michael he’s having a nervous breakdown; that he doesn’t know if he can stay on the project.”

Michael tells him, “Your family comes first. But I have a friend in Cannes who can put you up for free if money is an issue.”

Thierry has to go to Cannes. If Miramax throws in on African, it will get made. Michael and I will have an agent. If Thierry falls by the wayside it can only mean one thing: He has a will to fail.

(2004)

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