Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fair Play

Dear Indigna,

I heard that Randy Quaid is suing the producers of “Brokeback Mountain” because he was told it was a “low-budget” film (actual budget, a whopping $14 mil) so he agreed to do it for “only” six figures. Now that the movie has made $82 million just in North America, he wants a bigger slice of the pie. Isn’t this a little like Pete Best suing the Beatles for profits they made after he quit the band?

Marginally Interested
Hollywood, FL

Dear “Marginal,”

I think both lawsuits have merit, but I will only address the Randy Quaid one since, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, the Beatles broke up over 30 years ago.

Anyhow, so Randy Quaid and his agent agreed to only an “Obscene” amount of money, instead of a “Mortally Sinful” amount of money (these are technical industry terms), to do “Brokeback Mountain.” They took the producers’ word for it that the movie was sure to be a flop and that they (the producers) were incredibly inept businessmen just in it to launder ill-gotten gains or something (just guessing, but why else would anyone financially back a dog that won’t hunt?). Randy & agent didn’t think to ask for a percentage of the profits because, well, this was supposed to be a career-damaging, straight-to-remainder-bin Ang Lee film. When it went on to win Oscars, just like all of Ang Lee’s films, as well as mucho moola, Randy decided that now is the time to renegotiate his contract.

I say, good for him! He wuz robbed. In fact, every actor that I’ve heard of should get a retroactive piece of the action if the film is a success (but none of the other folks, of course, ‘cuz they’re not important).

But fair’s fair, right? That means when your $150 million film flops--and I’m talking to you, Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Cruise!--you have to pay back your “Demonic” eight figure salary! (And Randy Quaid has to pay back his paltry six or seven figure salary.) This new “free market” “fair trade” rule should help roll back those high box office prices!

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