• Michael Eisner got a standing ovation yesterday for a speech made at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society's Newsmaker Luncheon. The lunch was an unofficial goodbye party for Eisner, who officially steps down as Disney CEO at the end of this week. His remarks were largely inspirational in tone; he dismissed the ever-tedious slump dialectics taking the media by storm ("The reality is, on a whole, the American entertainment industry has thrived decade after decade. In spite of our constant cries that the sky is falling, it always stays right up there"), and advised industry leaders not to "panic" in the face of emerging technologies. "The only thing that gives [new technology] purpose is the kind of creative content we all produce."
  • David Geffen explains exactly what went wrong in Dreamworks' talks with potential buyer NBC/Universal: "We had made an exclusive negotiation arrangement (with Universal) two months ago, based on a price they offered for the company. On the 1-yard line, suddenly they changed the price." It was Steven Spielberg, who was said to have been "ambivalent from the beginning" in regards to the Universal deal, who made the final call to step away from the table. After their exclusive negotiation period with NBC/Universal ends on Friday, Dreamworks is expected to court other potential purchasers, including Warner Brothers and Disney.
  • Marc Forster is directing a remake of the French film, 36 Quai des Orfevres, for Paramount. The original, starring Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Arteuil as plain-clothed police detectives competing to crack a series of robbery cases, was nominated for three French Oscars last year.
  • Bastards of the Party, a Bloods-vs-Crips documentary produced by Antoine Fuqua, has sold to HBO in a deal that will include broadcast on the cable network, as well as limited theatrical distribution. The film was directed by Cle Shaheed Sloan, a former Blood who appeared in Fuqua's Training Day and later worked as a camera assistant and second-until director. "I'd seen too many shrines in South Central and thought it was worth asking where the first bullet came from that started all this violence," says Fuqua.
categories Movies, Cinematical