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Old 07 Jun 2003, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Superman Movie Gossip


Superman Fight Gossip
Friday, June 6, 2003 8:49 CDT

Page Six posted the following article yesterday:

June 5, 2003 -- DIRECTOR Brett Ratner and producer Jon Peters were at the point of physical violence when Ratner quit the troubled "Superman" project, Esquire magazine reports.
The movie was plagued with a ballooning budget and the lack of a leading man.

Peters - the former hairdresser/lover of Barbra Streisand on whom Warren Beatty's character in "Shampoo" (1975) was based - is described as "an aggressive, explosive not quite literate" man with "destructive energy."

Ratner, the 33-year-old wunderkind behind "Rush Hour" and "Red Dragon," is a Peter Pan-type whose answering machine once featured Michael Jackson singing (to the tune of "Billie Jean"): "Brett is not at ho-o-o-me, Brett is not aro-u-und."

"The two ended up in a shouting match," Esquire reports. "Ratner warned [Peters] to stay away."

"Peters later claimed that Ratner threatened him with an armed bodyguard," to which Ratner shot back: "I don't need a guard to pull a gun on someone."

The fights were mostly about money, according to Esquire. The production of "Superman" was supposed to be around $180 million, but Ratner submitted a $225 million price tag - not counting the $50 million to $75 million in marketing costs, according to one top agent, who added: "Those numbers are just insane."

Ratner also didn't pay enough attention to the script and its changes - all written by "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams. Beyond that, the film, which was supposed to start production last January, had no leading man.

As PAGE SIX chronicled over the past year, the studio originally wanted Josh Hartnett for the lead, but Ratner insisted on a screen test. Then Ratner wooed Ashton Kutcher and Jude Law - both of whom turned him down. The actors balked, partly because the deal included two sequels.

The "public and frantic" search then shifted to Brendan Frasier, Paul Walker and soap star Matthew Bomer. Ratner wanted Bomer but the studio nixed him - the other stars nixed the movie.
By the time Ratner agreed to sign Hartnett, the "Black Hawk Down" star didn't want the role of the Man of Steel.
In April, Ratner finally "jumped before he was pushed" and quit the "Superman" team.

While Warner still claims the project will go forward, "many in the industry doubt the movie will ever be made," Esquire says.
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