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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

BYO Twentieth Century Fox

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41 Responses to “BYO Twentieth Century Fox”

  1. Triple Option says:

    Can’t say I like any studio more than another as good and bad films and interactions happen with all of them but this is sad news. It’d be one thing if they were struggling to keep the lights on but this consolidation just takes an ax to dispersion of creativity. Not a good day.

  2. JS Wooten says:

    No. It’s a great day, because all of this content is no longer associated with… the murdochs. Seriously. That’s a big deal to a lot of people, who had to begrudgingly ignore, that bastards ruining our planet were producing this content. Now? Disney isn’t perfect, but they sure as shit don’t want to turn the fucking planet into a fascist shithole.

    Homer Simpson? FREED!
    Wade Wilson? FREED!
    The Belcher Family? FREED!
    Random movies on FXM? FREED!

    Fox, has been freed, from tyranny. If that makes you sad, then that’s on you. Sure. Some people could lose jobs, but guess what? There’s an entire extra studios worth of people, and they need content. I wonder what oh what they will do with them? I’m thinking, touchstone/NEW FOX are going to be a thing. Why? Do you think Disney wants all of those fired people associated with them? Fuck and no. Please. Point out to me the last time Disney had massive layoffs. I’ll wait.

  3. movieman says:

    Have always loved the irony that Fox released “M*A*S*H,” “Myra Breckinridge” and “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” a mere five years after “The Sound of Music.”
    Of course, that’s more a reflection on the “anything goes” New Hollywood era than any individual studio.

  4. Hcat says:

    The very first day and they shoot themselves in the foot. The whole point of the merger is content, and they immediately ax the studio component that was putting out well reviewed modestly budgeted features, the kind that if they don’t connect at the box office will draw eyeballs in the ancillary market? “sorry we test-marketed the Hidden Figures and Love Simon logos on a onesie and nobody bit so why would we continue to make those type of movies”

    And they sent the television guy packing, the one who I believe gave the greenlight to Empire, This is us, Fresh off the Boat, and Speechless. He seemed pretty committed to creating diverse shows, but sorry the music stopped and you don’t have a chair. I mean we didn’t get the network all the way to fourth place by questioning our gut decisions.

    Yes the Murdochs are terrible reprehensible people and I am glad that my Fox habit will no longer be sending any cash their way.

    “Disney isn’t perfect, but they sure as shit don’t want to turn the fucking planet into a fascist shithole”

    No they want to turn it into a facist Wonnderland! 🙂

    Movieman, I am always sorry I wasn’t alive yet to witness the post hays code transition of Hollywood. That must have made people’s head spin. “turns out that Midnight Cowboy movie, NOT a western.”

  5. movieman says:

    It was a wild and crazy time, Hcat. And a deeply schizophrenic one.
    Especially observing all this brilliant madness from the vantage point of a kid weaned on “Mary Poppins,” “In Search of the Castaways” and “That Darn Cat.”

    Love showing my class excerpts from “Myra” and “Zabriskie Point” (a movie bankrolled and released by the very same studio that brought us “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”).
    They have a hard time wrapping their brains around such frankly experimental, and unapologetically sexual, movies emanating from corporate H’wood studios.
    Especially in an era when “corporate Hollywood studios” are largely in the business of comic book franchises and CGI ‘toons.
    For me, “Myra” will always be the film made against the backdrop of “The Summer of Manson.” And you can feel that palpable sense of everything breaking down in every damn frame. No wonder Mike Nichols was such a fan of the movie.
    Purple haze indeed.

  6. palmtree says:

    Does this mean the Alfred Newman fanfare is now obsolete?

  7. Edenfantasys says:

    With financial stability came new owners, when Fox was sold for more than $700 million in 1981 to investors Marc Rich and Marvin Davis. Fox’s assets included Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Aspen Skiing Company and a Century City property upon which Davis built and twice sold Fox Plaza .

  8. Hcat says:

    Saw but never really wrapped my head around Myra, felt the same way about Skidoo. Both those felt like the key party from The Ice Storm, people wanting to participate in the counter culture but not understanding the underlying reasons for it. I had no clue on what Myra was trying to do.

    Haven’t gotten around to Zabrinskie yet, that has certainly gone under my radar.

    ‘Point out to me the last time Disney had massive layoffs. I’ll wait’

    I would think there would have to have been some warm bodies managing Hollywood, Touchstone and Miramax (granted Hollywood might have been monkeys throwing darts at a board). Those would probably be more slow bleeds rather than massive layoffs. But I don’t see how you can argue that Disney does not have a history of losing interest in midlevel, or R-rated, or anything that doesn’t fit into their day-glo tentpole model.

    Eden, forgot about Rich and Davies short tenure, so I guess this is the third sale of the studio.

  9. movieman says:

    I have tremendous affection for “Skidoo” as well, although I’m a Preminger fanatic.

    “Myra” was quite possibly the most subversive movie of its era: it tore down centuries-long gender norms; made a transexual woman an action heroine; and blew raspberries (affectionate raspberries, but raspberries just the same) at Golden Age Hollywood.
    I know that it’s considered a huge flop, but I can remember “Myra” packing them in back in the summer of 1970. It had long and healthy runs in most cities, even my podunk Ohio hometown where I saw it a drive-in (at the ripe old age of 12).

  10. amblinman says:

    JS: Disney already announced layoffs today. And in their themeparks, they treat their employees like complete garbage.

  11. JS Wooten says:

    Man, and that shit is fucking debatable about the parks. It really fucking is, because all of those lifers can’t be lifers for nothing.

    And yes, they got rid of FOX 2000. It sucks, but let me again point you over to WARNERMEDIA. It’s like, I get people don’t like anything having anything in one basket, I get monopolies are bad, but just looking at Disney is ignoring that WARNERMEDIA IS GOING TO BE WORSE! They are in the hole 120bn, they’ve already fucked over HBO, and let’s not even get started with their Machinma bullshit.

    Seriously. Layoffs suck, losing FOX 2000 isn’t that great, but that TV guy isn’t the FX TV people. Who are one of the reasons why FX, FXX, and FXM are a proud part of Disney now.

    Change happens, we still don’t know what FOX will become, but we know some divisions are gone. You know what? It sucks, but you also have fucking change all of their place, and the closet rival is in a worse fucking position… yet you guys just want to fixate on Disney and Foxy. Skidoo is a trippy fucking movie.

  12. Hcat says:

    Disney is the news of the day, I believe we bitched about Warners last week with the exact same critiques. Buying a property and letting the talent go that stewarded the company into being a studio worth having. That another company is fumbling this as well doesn’t mean Disney should get a pass on the ire.

    For the television side, its not just that there are layoffs, its that they are sunsetting the wrong talent. Fox TV was and always has been superior to touchstone/ABC studios. ABC’s bright spots have flown to Netflix. If you are going to choose who runs your division do you want they guy with the more successful division and the most shows on the air?

    You are right, we don’t know what Fox will become, we can only look at Disney’s past behavior (and itchiness with anything challenging), and the news as it comes. And at the moment, both look shitty. UA was lost a long time ago, MGM even farther no matter how many resurgences they try, Disney’s flirtation with actual filmmaking was overpassed by their financial desire to be a toy company, Viacom has let Paramount fall into complete disrepair, and Columbia has been feast and famine all throughout Sony’s tenure. Now two of the three studios that were actually working have been swallowed up and it is certainly not clear if it has been for more than their brand names and IP.

  13. Js partisan says:

    A toy factory. Dude. Your sense of whimsy is just so gone.

  14. Hcat says:

    I have whimsy, but a diet of nothing but moon pies will lead to scurvy. A studio that hasn’t greenlit an R rated movie in a decade is not really a studio.

  15. Js partisan says:

    No. They are a four quadrant studio. That’s the difference, and that analogy ignores what’s really happening with this entertainment. Seriously.

  16. leahnz says:

    so i guess the famous fanfare is officially kaputski? :'(

    that reminds me, this is my boy’s ringtone, it never fails to crack me up

    (i think it is a recorder, not a flute but whatevs)

  17. brack says:

    It’s all building up to Disney + I think.

  18. Triple Option says:

    JS Wooten wrote:
    No. It’s a great day, because all of this content is no longer associated with… the murdochs.

    Homer Simpson? FREED!
    Wade Wilson? FREED!
    The Belcher Family? FREED!
    Random movies on FXM? FREED!”

    This actually makes my point. If Fox didn’t exist, how many of those shows or movies would have come to fruition? Programs on ABC and Disney channels are disgustingly homogenized. Fine if they want to reinvent princess adventure stories from now until the earth’s core implodes. Maybe it’ll inspire future generations the way Wile E Coyote & Marvin the Martian got ours to land rockets on asteroids and land rovers on Mars. But there’s a subversive form of evil in trying to cookie-cut every creative decision to meet a fixed projection. The only value art has is what a handful of analysts, who ostensibly see the world in binary fashion, say based on spreadsheets, looking solely back at the past or decided by xanax-laden execs who go to bed each night fearing if they’ll have their 6 figure job and stock options 3-4 months down the road.

    Fox isn’t immune to this. But at least I don’t feel like I’m watching the same show over and over again. Disney is Prince of Persia staring…Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s Johnny Depp as Tonto. It’s Johnny Depp in Pirates pt 5. It’s John Carter. It’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It’s a formula so simple, it can all be boiled down to a checklist even an nepotism placed intern reader can follow. Cuz that’s what good movies are all about, what can fit in a box.

    Let me state plainly for the record that I have no regard for many of the practices exercised by Fox over the years, especially towards creative folk. Tracy Ullman, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Chris Carter, Emily Deschanel, and others have helped Fox make billions with a b but Fox would rather devote money to legal council to fight them than honor the contracts that they wrote in the first place.

    Disney’s film side is prolly running at what 2/5ths, maybe 1/2 capacity but somehow they convinced the DOJ this consolidation is necessary for survival and competition but not a violation of existing antitrust laws…honestly, I don’t get it.

    Also, to be clear, this is not to say I hate everything about Disney. They were well past my time but it’s nice that something like High School Musical or Hannah Montana could break out to be international hits without controversy or degradation selling it. But look what some of their stars had to do to get out from under Disney’s milieu.

    Goodbye Fox. Hello and Welcome to the world prefabricated entertainment. One step closer to AI picking the programs for you. “Sit back, relax, we’ll even turn on the TV for you.”

  19. brack says:

    Disney has bought other properties and has respected them fine more or less. I don’t see Disney wanting to mess up formulas that have proven to work for Fox. Disney likes money like any other business. This sky-is-falling stance seems premature.

  20. palmtree says:

    I agree with brack. For the most part, Pixar, Lucas, and Marvel are doing at least comparable to if not better than where they would be minus Disney. (If you want to debate Lucas, fine, but hey it did produce Rogue and Solo, right?)

    However, each one of those acquisitions was already a four-quadrant thing for kids or at least kid-friendly that neatly fit into Disney’s theme park aesthetic.

    The R-rated question remains to be seen. I’d love to see Disney try to bring back a Touchstone Pictures thing, but I don’t think Iger and co. have the stomach for it anymore, especially when they can PG-13 everything to death so it rakes in more. I want Disney to value things that aren’t just engineered for everybody. Even if it’s superhero stuff like Logan and Deadpool. But right now, there’s no evidence they can do that.

  21. Amblinman says:

    “Man, and that shit is fucking debatable about the parks. It really fucking is, because all of those lifers can’t be lifers for nothing.”

    That’s why there’s less of them. Disney took an ax to a lot of full time roles. Y’know, gotta keep those benefits down. And they’ve laid off alot of IT staff in favor of H1 talent they can underpay. But not before having the laid off staff train their own replacements.

    Disney is garbage, dude. Nice superhero movies, tho.

  22. palmtree says:

    Saw a doc about how badly paid some of the workers are. Sure, they love it because it’s Disney, but still…for a place known as the Happiest Place on Earth, they can afford to make employees happy too.

  23. Bob Burns says:

    this is retrenchment…. old, studio Hollywood, becoming less important. it’s been looking small and dusty for years. Green Book was, more than anything, a nostalgia piece, in this context, “the kind of film we used to make”. We will be seeing endless nostalgia films about the studios of the last 50 years, rather like Mad Men was for its scene. In the meantime content has become as common as litter.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    Man, it’s not garbage, but keep coming with that glib bullshit. It’s like, anything that involved John Lassitter. It treated people like shit, but Milton Friedman ruined planet earth, but let’s just act like Disney is the bad guy. When, really, they aren’t perfect (no company is), but a lot of people would rather have fucking Disney than anything else. Why? We at least know what we are getting. Hell. Apple is going to announce they want to be Disney tomorrow, so get ready for that folks.

    Also, that’s glib as fuck, but how will people outside of Studio City respond to this shit? It’s through a movie, it’s through a streaming service, or it’s through something changing they immediately interact with on a regular basis. The whole, “COMIC BOOK MOVIE,” aspect is straight from the whole contemptuous bullshit, that Marvel Studio films put up with all the time. It’s whatever, but let’s not act like Wolverine talking to Cap on screen, isn’t a big deal, and that it will generate a shit ton of money. It’s also the quickest and easiest way, that people will see the effects of this merger with their own eyes.

    Again, mergers suck, but the murdochs had years to figure out a way to monetize this content. Years. What did they do? They twiddled their thumbs, and waited for the day someone would relieve them of it. Disney did, and now Bob Belcher and Goofy are owned by the same people. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

  25. brack says:

    If anything, I hope we don’t see more X-Men stories done half-assed. Are we really supposed to care about Dark Phoenix this June? We barely even know this version of Jean, but we’re supposed to care about this storyline, out of nowhere? I like what was done with Wolverine in his third movie, and Dead Pool, but outside of that X-Men has been a mixed bag, with the talent of the actors as it’s only saving grace at times. Apocalypse was a snore fest.

  26. Hcat says:

    “For the most part, Pixar, Lucas, and Marvel are doing at least comparable to if not better than where they would be minus Disney”

    That’s true enough Palm, but these were much closer to what Disney was already doing (Hell Pixar has never done anything outside Disney). That they switched from pumping out PG13 Bruckheimer movies to PG13 Marvel and Star Wars movies was not a terrible leap. Absorbing an entire studio that releases movies with budgets and subjects across a wide spectrum is a different animal. This isn’t just a production company but an entire studio putting out 20-30 films a year out among different banners.

    And JS, Friedman? That is the bar? If you have to go outside the entertainment industry to find worse entities you are sort of reinforcing the argument.

    Look Disney was fine, immensely popular but inconsequential. And it didn’t matter that they pumped out what they did because throughout their history there was plenty of other fare to choose from. And that they thrived while Columbia and Paramount floundered couldn’t be placed at their doorstep, but their engulfing of another studio is completely on them. Perhaps this is all premature and they will not cut production, perhaps Searchlight will bring home something from Cannes this year, or have a couple films in Oscar contention. But the Tea Leaves do not point to this. The film industry is infinitely bigger than just Marvel films, and the merits of this sale should be judged by how it effects more than just one production company.

  27. Js partisan says:

    I’d respond more, but your inconsequential line is nonsensical. Disney is like Nintendo. It just means more, and always has. You ignoring it? You ignoring it.

    If you read above. Yes. It’s bigger, but you seem to think Fox has been a winning studio, and it hasn’t. Avatar was a tech demo, that got people excited for six months in 2009. Fox 2000 whiffed more than it got hits. While Searchlight is a jewel, and do you see Disney rushing to destroy the jewel? Nope..

    Again, your entire fear seems to be, that Disney doesn’t put out substantial content. Which is just weird. Really weird.

  28. Hcat says:

    “your entire fear seems to be, that Disney doesn’t put out substantial content. Which is just weird. Really weird.”

    Ding, Ding, Ding!!!

    We have different definitions of substantial. You go back to Avatar, while I am talking about the Calverys, the Enough Saids, the Hidden Figures, and the Revenents. Is Disney going to bankroll and release something as brutal as 12 Years, as gonzo as Birdman, or even something as right across the plate as The Martian? All those are what I would point to as the substantial contributions in the last few years, and none of those would fall into their current wheelhouse. I will take some small budget whiffs from a studio trying out stuff like Love Simon and The Hate U Give over the giant strikeout like Alladin is looking like. If they loose money, at least loose money on something worthwhile.

    I am resigned to more Avatar films, but do not want Fox to be the studio of nothin’ but Avatar. That is the direction they might be headed and that is the concern I am trying to explain.

  29. Dr Wally Rises says:

    I just watched Avatar again for the first time in eight years, and was actually taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed it.

    What an utterly bizarre state of affairs when you can legitimately describe the highest grossing movie of all-time as ‘underrated’.

  30. palmtree says:

    Hcat, I literally made the same point you made right after the part you quoted.

    Wally, I feel that way when people rip apart Titanic, like it’s cool to do, but I’m like, yeah, it’s flawed and the writing is at times mediocre, but it still does what it set out to do and then some…spectacle mixed with emotion on a huge scale. I can watch it anytime.

  31. Js partisan says:

    HC, did they fire the Searchlight people? No. Also, Aladdin is going to make bank. Seriously.

    Avatar is still weird, because it’s box office bears zero correlation to it’s popularity or longevity. It’s truly nonsensical that it holds that spot, and if Endgame somehow takes it. It would make sense, because it’s a finale of a decade of intricately plotted, directed, and act storytelling. It’s not a fucking tech-demo, that somehow made money in China before that was a thing. Again. It’s so weird, and I’m really looking forward to how those sequels do. Purely on the basis of my own curiosity.

  32. Hcat says:

    I don’t know if y’all have seen the pics of the high school production of Alien, but it looks amazing, seek them out if you haven’t.

    Perfect pick for a production, very few sets but lots of design opportunities, small but not too small cast and everyone gets some decent moments. Can’t think of another that clicks all the boxes as well. Mama from a few years ago? Badabook?

  33. brack says:

    Hcat – I did see pics, along with some video, and a trailer, of the Alien play. The costumes, set, and especially the Alien designs of the facehugger and the Xenomorph, were simply amazing. It was all over my Twitter feed last week, and for good reason.

  34. leahnz says:

    was jonesy in it? i really hope so

  35. movieman says:

    Hcat- I saw the HS “Alien” pics, too. And the “trailer” that was put together to advertise the show.
    Looks like a Max Fischer production to me. (Goggles not required.)
    Very groovy.

  36. Hcat says:

    Was just bouncing around on Mojo and I found it interesting that, while its early in the year and it will absolutely change, three of the top WW grossers so far are Asian films. Of all the BO stories so far this year I am surprised I have not read more on what a massive uptick Broly was. Wandering Earth managed to crack 5 million in the US (impressive but 1% of the WW gross). So these small specialty distributors seem to be getting the product out, and I am impressed with how Wellgo and FUN can hustle, but isn’t someone like Lionsgate missing an opportunity here by not picking up these titles and muscling them into the broader market?

    And was also surprised how well Escape Room did, had no idea it shot around the world like that. Have no idea of its quality but I always am happy to root for a small film making bank. I am sure Happy Death Day is thinking ‘hey that shoulda been us.’

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Also surprised by how well Escape Room did especially given its quality. It’s not good. Neither is Happy Death Day 2 but I’m still surprised it made so much less money than the first one.

  38. Hcat says:

    I liked the first HDD quite a bit and will certainly check out the sequel on video. I can imagine how there would be problems with the sequel, the logic behind the first one hardly worked (I forget the whole explanation for the conceit), but more importantly the whole continuation of the story line (and dark humor) was based on what a horrible person she was and that credibly everyone wanted her dead. This creates an Arthur problem, where the flaws of the person in the first film are what make it interesting, but those flaws are supposed to be resolved, for them to have the same issues in the second sort of undercuts the first.

  39. Stella's Boy says:

    I admire the second one for being a little ambitious but it’s a disaster. Tries to blend comedy, slasher, sci-fi, and family melodrama and none of it works. A total mess with some painfully unfunny moments and cringeworthy sappiness. First is pretty fun for the most part but the second is just awful.

  40. Sideshow Bill says:

    The X-Men reboot has me excited because that book and those characters are so close to my heart. The way that series went off the rails is heart-breaking.

    I hadn’t heard of this Alien play as I was unconscious but I’m gonna look it up right now.

  41. Hcat says:

    So what’s been happening at the Disney offices since I last bitched about the merger?

    “Hey, Fox has a Tom Hanks movie ready to greenlight!

    Perfect we love Tom Hanks!

    Greengrass is attached to direct and the book was shortlisted for some prestigious awards

    Awards season here we come

    But it was one of those books that only has words in it

    Get it the Hell out of here.”

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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