All over the place in weird and odd entertainment news today. Let's start with news (via) that megalomaniacal director Julie Taymor is now suing the producers of the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. After months of accidents and horrible pre-opening reviews, Taymor was fired from the show and replaced by director Phillip McKinley (The Boy from Oz). The Guild of Directors and Choreographers has filed the suit on her behalf, claiming the show (which is raking in over $1M a week) has failed to compensate her for continued use of her work and is seeking $300,000.00. Long-time readers know how I feel about this entire project. I have not seen the show in any of its incarnations (nor do I ever intend to do so), so I have no idea how much of Taymor's work is actually used in the production that is running now. I do know she co-wrote the original book, but a writer from Marvel was brought in to fix it after she 'left.' Still, it seems to me that $300k is a measly price to pay to be rid of her, once and for all. If I were her, knowing that I'll probably never work on Broadway again, I'd ask for more.
Speaking of megalomaniacal directors, creepy Brett Ratner (the man who single-handedly ruined the X-Men franchise), has resigned as producer of the 2012 Oscars after making a homophobic slur at a question and answer session following the premiere of his latest cinematic turd, Tower Heist. When asked about rehearsals for the film, Ratboy replied "Rehearsals are for f*gs." He then went on Howard Stern's satellite radio program where he claimed (among other things) that he was "very, very good" at performing a certain oral sex act with women. After some pressure from GLAAD, he issued a lame apology. Today, after many LGBT reporters, industry insiders and performers called for his firing, he resigned, saying in part (via):
"So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted. With this in mind, and to all those who understandably feel that apologies are not enough, please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.
"As a first step, I called Tom Sherak this morning and resigned as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast. Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career. But as painful as this may be for me, it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents."
I say: "Good riddance to bad rubbish." The man is a pig. He looks like he smells bad and I have never seen a single one of his films that I could, in good conscience, recommend. Really - does this look remotely funny to you?
In other lawsuits (also via), an Oregon man named Bilal Ahmed is suing Lionsgate over use of his image in the 2010 Russell Crowe (another Hollywood asshat) film The Next Three Days (I barely remember it existed, too). Ahmed claims that since his picture was used without his authorization in a group of photos depicting terrorists, his job prospects have been diminished and he has been forced to change his appearance (cutting his hair and beard) so that he won't be associated with actual terrorists. There's no indication as to where the filmmakers got his photo. Here's the trailer for the movie from overrated director Paul Haggis (Crash):
And finally, while not an Industry related story, this sounds like the plot of a horror movie. 45 year-old Russian historian Anatoly Moskvin has been arrested after he was discovered to have the remains of 29 young women in his Moscow apartment, dressed in brightly colored clothing and posed in a bizarre tableau. The Miami Herald reports that Moskvin had several books on doll making and was caught after a long investigation into a series of grave-robberies in the city. A linguist and expert on Celtic culture, Moskvin reportedly claimed that his fascination with the dead started when he was a boy and was forced to kiss the corpse of a young girl in a passing funeral procession. Eeeeeewwwwwww!
Well, I hope I haven't given you (or myself) bad dreams, with that last item. If I did, I apologize in advance.