Do directors immediately lose the ability to get work after a movie flops? Well, as Michael Mann has shown by gearing up the racing biopic “Enzo Ferrari” following the hacker thiller misfire “Blackhat,” that’s not always the case. The relationships between movie makers and the industry isn’t always so binary and fixed on success or failure. If you’re a good collaborator who can come in on budget and on time, you’ll always find a gig. So bear that all in mind as you read on…
The Wrap reports that Joe Wright more or less lost the gig directing Lionsgate‘s brewing Julius Caesar blockbuster “Emperor” due to the dismal reception to “Pan,” which flopped at the box office, and could reportedly wind up costing Warner Bros. $150 million dollars. According to the trade, Wright had a conversation and some phone calls with with Lionsgate about “Emperor,” and while no deal was in place, the suggestion is there that the opportunity went away after “Pan” bombed, and that Lionsgate is now going “back to the drawing board” on the movie.
According to Wright’s reps, the story is “categorically untrue,” and certainly, the director couldn’t really have been fired from anything he was never actually hired for in the first place. Could there have been some conversations? Sure, but the story seems somewhat one-sided at the moment. Maybe Wright himself got cold feet after “Pan,” which The Wrap says was “made by committee” — jumping into another blockbuster may not have been the most enticing prospect for Wright. Or maybe Lionsgate is still figuring out their vision for “Emperor,” and perhaps Wright just isn’t the right fit.
Wright has yet to really weigh in on the aftermath of “Pan,” and it’ll be interesting to hear him address what happened behind-the-scenes, and whether or not it affected any developing projects, including “Emperor.”