Thursday, July 19, 2007

Spielberg Joins Jake Watch in Crusade Against Paramount

It appears that Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Pictures might split with Paramount, perhaps largely because the Los Angeles public premiere of Zodiac was canceled at the last minute. "I was really looking forward to that Jake Watch post," Spielberg told reporters at a press conference earlier today, "They ruined it for everyone. How else is a person like me supposed to get a free 'I'm stalking Jake!' button?" Spielberg was of course referring to the wildly popular news organization that you are currently experiencing, famous for its accurate reporting and unmatched ability to capture exclusive quotes from famous people in the entertainment industry. Jake Watch readers may remember that DreamWorks produced the Jake Watch hit movie, The Day After Tomorrow Never Dies (TDATND) and the film's director, Prophecy Girl, received hands-on consulting from Spielberg during the bulk of filming.

However, the situation may be slightly more complicated than Spielberg let on. From BusinessWeek's coverage of the story: "People close to Spielberg say he is vexed that Paramount has treated [Jake Watch] shabbily and grabbed credit for [Jake Watch] productions [including the live-action version of Underdog.* It's a little-kept industry secret that the original plot of The Day After Tomorrow Never Dies made reference to a Jake Watch picture (Underdog) being considered as a catalyst for a career in children's movies for Jake Gyllenhaal (photographed below during a costume fitting).It was also no secret that Paramount's big Jake film of the year, Zodiac, was in stiff competition with TDATND. Not only did Paramount push Zodiac's release date further and further back until it was scheduled exactly one month after TDATND, presumably to play off the fervor created by the JW movie, but it appears they also began production of their own Underdog movie soon after the JW team put their version aside. Spielberg, who was slated to direct the JW version of the wacky dog comedy, expressed disappointment when the project was pushed off Jake Watch's schedule, presumably because Gyllenhaal's Presidential campaigning spread resources within the industry giant too thin to continue its production. Just this past weekend, Paramount's version of Underdog started being advertised on televisions across America**, and the rumors about a possible split between Spielberg and Paramount coming in conjunction with the advertising campaign is likely no coincidence.] If Spielberg were to leave, says a person [who is writing this story], he could take several of his hitmakers [i.e. Jake Watch] and the DreamWorks name with him. [Either way, Jake Watch will make no money off the live-action Underdog film, though the concept was widely regarded as JW's intellectual property.]"

Paramount, of course, is denying the split, any wrongdoing, and any knowledge of the inescapably painful Underdog. But in light of the complicated backstory, it seems that Spielberg's anger over the Zodiac premiere may have been just the out he needed to break off the painful relationship.

(BusinessWeek is not responsible for material contained in the brackets as it may have been creatively interpreted by our editors; for instance, if you were going to use "facts," then Underdog is actually a Buena Vista Production, and not part of Paramount Pictures. But aren't all movie studios eventually connected somewhere along the line?)

* Actual quote from the old JW Forum by Jla (we miss you!) June 30, 2006: It's clearly apparent to us that making this movie would be career suicide! The super hero has to be completely ludicrous like a live-action version of Underdog, complete with Jake in a dog costume and cape.

This is true.

And thank you AgentLola for finding this article!


welliwont said...

Sweet, that is some good post PG! ROFLMAO

Xenia said...

There's some justice in this world after all...;)

heddaparsons said...

LMAO!! Thanks for thispost PG, I need this this morning. And Spielberg? Who knew? Good to know JW has some HW power on their side!

Anonymous said...

I was lurking then and I remember the Underdog discussion, those thieves! But looking at the trailer for Underdog maybe it was a good idea JW didn't go trough with it!

Paramount deserves to loose Spielberg, Paramount suits are a bunch of bunch of jack asses.

Anonymous said...

Once again,PG, you have outdone yourself. ROFLMAO!!!

Hey, with a big kahuna like Spielberg joining JW on their dissing of Paramount, the sky's the limit!

Becky Heineke said...

Can you believe that we kept Spielberg's heavy involvement with Jake Watch a secret? I mean, we just kept wanting to tell you guys... ;)

Anonymous said...

OT (wait, what is the topic?), but i think u ladies will appreciate this:

jake's p*rnstache from bbm was ranked #5 in best movie mustaches of all time!

anyway, i would've ranked it #1, but this was amusing.

Anonymous said...

That will be a major loss for them is Spielberg decides to fly the coup! Bwhaaaaaaaa!!!

Jake as Underdog: The funniest shit ever!

Anonymous said...

OT: Scenes from Rendition:

Only one shot of Jake though, what's up with that???

PS: I saw the trailer for the Underdog movie, they have got to be kidding???

cina said...

^^Only one shot of Jake, yes - but SHIT he looks good!! *faints*

Hilarious post also, PG!! Jake as Underdog has me ROFLMAO... *dies*

Anonymous said...

OT but related a bit to this post because they discuss super heroes!

Jake's name was attached to this project at one point. I wonder if he still has any interest in doing a super heroe role anymore? From the L.A. Times:

Seth Rogen linked to 'Green Hornet'
By Sheigh Crabtree , Special to The Times
July 20, 2007

Seth Rogan
on the heels of his leading-man debut as accidental baby daddy Ben in the hit "Knocked Up," Seth Rogen has entered into final negotiations to write and star in "The Green Hornet" for Columbia Pictures.

The studio announced in March that it had optioned the rights to the superhero property that follows the adventures of Brit Reid. A wealthy publisher of The Daily Sentinel by day, Reid roams as a masked crime fighter by night, dedicated to protecting the lives and rights of the city's citizens. Reid is accompanied by Kato, a chauffeur-bodyguard-personal assistant during business hours who transforms into a masked sidekick with a knack for martial arts when the sun goes down. The two cruise around town in a dark sedan known as the Black Beauty.

Neal H. Moritz is developing the project with Rogen via the producer's Original Film company. Moritz has been chasing the rights for years having been a big fan of the '60s television series. He declined to comment on Rogen's involvement.

An earlier version of this article said Seth Rogen had entered a deal to write and likely star in "The Green Hornet." As the story now states, Rogen is in final negotiations.


Rogen's deal was confirmed to the Los Angeles Times by a number of sources both inside and outside the studio, who are involved with the film. Sony is said to be eyeing a 2009 release. Sony president of production Matt Tolmach is expected to oversee for Columbia Pictures.

Rogen is just the newest player in a large and varied cast of characters who have tried to bring Green Hornet to the big screen. A Green Hornet film was previously announced at Universal with Ron Underwood directing. Three years ago Miramax entered a deal with Kevin Smith to adapt and direct a Green Hornet film. Actors as wide ranging as George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Wahlberg have been rumored to be in talks to play Reid over the years. And at one point or another Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li have been rumored to play Kato.

The Green Hornet originally began life as a radio show in the 1930s, a creation of George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, who also created the Lone Ranger. The character has since been the subject of a couple of Universal movies in the 1940s, comic books and, perhaps most memorably, the short-lived ABC television series that starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet and introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee as Kato.

Rogen next appears as the paunchy, beer lover Officer Michaels in the August release "Superbad," based on a script he co-wrote with Evan Goldberg. Next year "The Pineapple Express" and "Drillbit Taylor," based on Rogen's screenplays, are also scheduled for release. The rising star has lined up a number of acting gigs, including voice roles in "The Spiderwicke Chronicles" and "Horton Hears a Who."

Anonymous said...

You are very welcome! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh what oh what have they done to my Underdog!!! The trailer for the Underdog movie: BARF!!!