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David Poland

By David Poland


I was writing a blog entry about a NYT story on the shutdown of American Gangster at Univeral and I lost control.

2000 words later… too much for a blog entry… I put up a story on MCN.

Outside of that…. Friday numbers look pretty much as expected, though Friday Night Lights might beat its tracking by a small amount and Hillary Duff might be rebuffed a little harder than expected.

And that’s that!

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11 Responses to “Oops”

  1. Well, get used to that, Dave. Since I’ve started my own blog, I’ve published three articles that I began writing as blog entries. Starting a blog is a great way of putting out more articles, actually. 😉

  2. TheEsquire says:

    Dude, thanks for bringing up Peter Berg in that
    story about American Gangster. Berg should be
    the next great American action director. No one
    comes close to the man, and Uni would have been
    damn lucky to get him to work with them again on
    this film. The man has too much talent, and needs
    to get more chances to showcase it in the future.

  3. mike says:

    Fine piece, David, but you overlooked two salient points:
    1) There was no attempt by Imagine and/or Universal to trim the budget.
    2) Denzel did not offer to cut his salary–perhaps in exchange for a bigger piece of the back end. (God knows he hardly needs the dough.)
    This shouts loud and clear that there really wasn’t a whole lot of passion about this project. Had there been, they would’ve found a way to make it work, $$$-wise.

  4. Martin says:

    Mike, I doubt it was a lack of passion by the cast, more likely a lack of passion for the director. Fuqua has done poorly in every major release except training day. He’s gotten bad reviews and poor box office. My guess is that they wanted to switch directors since King Arthur bombed but simply weren’t able to figure out a good compromise. So they canned the whole thing. It really is strange to me that reporters like Waxman can do a half-ass job on a story like this. Makes you wonder if there are other factors involved we don’t know about.

  5. Mark says:

    What happend to the Hot Button???

  6. David Poland says:

    The Hot Button is alive and well and up five days a week at

  7. Martin says:

    five days a week? hehe, maybe on a GOOD week. Have to take into acct that “The news sucks, I’m tired, see you tomorrow.” column.

  8. mike says:

    Martin, this is Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who can pretty much write their own ticket. Are we supposed to believe Fuqua was the only director acceptable to them? Hell, Howard could have directed it himself if he wanted. I’m convinced they got cold feet and used his departure as an excuse to ashcan the whole thing.

  9. Martin says:

    well I guess that’s a point. It could also have to do with Denzel’s most recent drama Manchurian Candidate not exactly lighting up the box office. Maybe it was just a combination of factors that didn’t bode well for the film being profitable.

  10. Mark says:

    Five days a week? More like three.
    Denzel can’t carry box office. Its that simple.

  11. bicycle bob says:

    denzel comes to play in every role though. a great actor

The Hot Blog

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon