The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment security breach that netted thousands of gigabytes of information for hacking group Guardians of Peace continues today with news that Bradley Cooper's upcoming, untitled movie with director Cameron Crowe is, well, a bit of a mess.
In an email chain from last month, Sony executives discuss their excitement for several of next year's tentpole films for the studio, including Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Annie. One film, however, appears to be little more than a nuisance: A Cameron Crowe-directed vehicle for Jenkintown's own Bradley Cooper, featuring Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray.
Previously titled Deep Tiki, the project is referred to as "Untitled Cameron Crowe" in the email chain. It is described as an "action romance" that takes place in Hawaii and revolves around a military weapons consultant, and, in 2008, had Reese Witherspoon and Ben Stiller attached. That pair, however, dropped off due to scheduling problems shortly after being associated with the film.
Crowe, for his part, reportedly rewrote the script until 2012, eventually filming it more than six years after it was initially cast. As a result, Sony has been test-screening the film for small audiences, and the results haven't been good.
For example, after a Nov. 13 screening of the film in Huntington Beach and New York, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal sent an email saying that she is "never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous." The email is reproduced below:
Scores same as last time and
Way way worse in ny
It's a wrap
There is no more to do
Cameron never really changed anything
People don't like people in movies who flirt with married people or
married people who flirt
The satellite makes no sense
The gate makes no sense
I'm never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous
And we al know it
I don't care how much I love the director and the actors
Not even once
As much as I want movies
This is way worse
At least the marketing departments at both studios have something to sell
like looks big and glossy
We have this movie in for a lot of dough and we better look at that
Scott didn't once go to the set
Or help us in the editing room
Or fix the script
To recap, Pascal is unhappy with several things, including the characters, plot, and script — so, essentially the entire film. What's worse, of course, is that Pascal also suggests that "we better look at" the amount of "dough" they've put into the film, an issue considering that SPE committed to $100 million in cost cuts last year.
Still, though, they'll have to sell the film to someone despite poor performance ratings in test screenings. But who that audience is isn't exactly clear. Gawker, however, obtained a report on the screening that indicates Sony may attempt to market the movie to "those with less education."
The New York audience was far more reserved. It was a more sophisticated group than in Huntington Beach, and this did have some impact as far as the weaker response, as those with less education have been responding better to the movie at each of the three screenings to date. That said, scores were softer in New York than Huntington Beach across all segments, including those with a college degree or more.
Cooper's current movie, American Sniper, meanwhile will receive a limited release on Dec. 25, followed by a full opening on Jan. 16. That film, directed by Clint Eastwood, has received primarily positive reviews.