“Idol’s Eye” was going to be Assayas’ next English language film after Cannes 2014 hit “Clouds of Sils Maria” starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart. But indie producer Michael Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures has shuttered the film on account of lack of financing:
“Due to the criteria for financing not being met by producers, Benaroya Pictures has formally decided to discontinue financing the motion picture titled ‘Idol’s Eye,'” said the company in today’s statement.
Principal photography on this heist picture, based on investigative reporter Hillel Levin’s 2007 Playboy article “Boosting the Tuna,” was just about to begin in Toronto. According to Levin’s website, De Niro would have played Chicago mob lord Tony Accardo opposite Pattinson as a high-end burglary ringleader.
Benaroya, along with De Niro and Rachel Weisz, came onboard following the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Assayas’ films typically play to warm welcome. “Idol’s Eye” could’ve been a breakout US hit for the French director, otherwise known for his unique brand of meta movies and decidedly uncommercial dramas, from “Carlos” and “Summer Hours” to “Something in the Air” and “Demonlover.”
But Benaroya does plan to move forward with the film at some point. His statement reads: “This is something all of us wanted to avoid, but due to the producers missing a number of financing criteria deadlines that were mutually established by all parties, we were left with no other options. Benaroya Pictures plans to retain the rights of the film and move forward with production on the picture after we generate a revised script and assemble a new filmmaking team.”
Here’s hoping. Developed by Charles Gillibert, “Idol’s Eye” was due to start selling at the American Film Market in Santa Monica this week. Up next for Benaroya is Werner Herzog’s now-wrapped “Queen of the Desert,” starring Nicole Kidman as British adventurer Gertrude Bell.