After a rather dodgy year for the studios at the box office, the purse strings are snapping tight all over Hollywood. While in good times studios have tended to allow the budgets of big projects to bloat (indeed many producers rely on it, pitching the studios a budget way less than what they know it will cost, in the belief the studio will stump up the extra cash once they’re invested in a project), now they’re stamping down.
Earlier this year The Lone Ranger nearly got cancelled after its budget ballooned to well over $200 million and just yesterday Alex Proyas’ Paradise Lost was put on hold after Warner asked them to cut back the slowly creeping costs. Now Deadline reports the same studio is looking at another costly project, Arthur & Lancelot, and asking the makers of that to do the same. Originally budgeted at $90 million, the film has since crept up to around $130 million. That’s made Warner sweat, especially as with Joel Kinnaman and Kit Harington cast in the title roles, there isn’t a star to hang the movie on.
As a result Warner has told the producers they’re welcome to try and set the project up at another studio, or to bring costs down and stay with them. It isn’t known which of those option director David Dobkin would prefer, but in the current climate he may find it difficult to get anyone to pay for a $100 million+ Arthurian film with no big stars.
The projects mentioned above aren’t the only ones that have come a cropper over costs recently, as both Guillermo Del Tror’s At The Mountains Of Madness and Ron Howard’s ambitious take on The Dark Tower have foundered for the same reason.
General movie news courtesy of Movie Muser