The news earlier in the day was just the start. It’s been a busy Monday in Hollywood.
* Different publications are offering a slightly different ways of putting it, but a new version of Dreamworks is being launched by Steven Spielberg, who is ending his relationship with Paramount, and executive Stacey Snider. They’re doing so with the help of $825 million in financing (that’s enough for 4.85 “G.I. Joe” movies) including a big chunk from India’s Reliance Entertainment. U.S. distribution of the new Dreamworks’ films will be handled by Disney, so we guess they’re no longer competitors. (Remember those pokes at Disney in “Shrek”?)
Everyone’s reporting on this but the most lucid version is being offered by Anne Thompson, even if I’d need a glossary to fully understand phrases like “J.P. Morgan’s syndication of approximately $325 million of senior debt”…something about a fancy way of retiring old debt? I’m going to have to work on that. Carl DiOrio also offers a fairly readable version.
* Speaking of Dreamworks, Brad Pitt is stepping in for a mysteriously departing Robert Downey, Jr. in the animated superhero/supervillian comedy “Oobermind.” I say mysterious because, as the Hitfix staff points out, the reason cited for Downey’s departure is a scheduling conflict, which is odd as it’s usually not very hard to reschedule someone for a solo taping session. It’s not like he would have had to spend six weeks on location in the Sahara dessert.
Brad Pitt’s comedic side has been seriously underutilized, but maybe not after what I take it is a fairly off-kilter and funny performance in “Inglourious Basterds.” (Lee Marvin was also kind of hilarious in “The Dirty Dozen,” come to think of it.) The cast of “Oobermind” will also include the suddenly-in-everything Jonah Hill and Tina Fey.