July 2006 Archive

EXCLUSIVE: Mel Gibson Was 'Really On The Verge Of Suicide' Before His DUI Arrest; 'This Was A Death Wish'

I'm told by a source intimate with his situation tonight that Mel Gibson “was really on the verge of suicide because he felt he was helpless to alcohol and didn't know what to do about it.” Sure, my reaction was: sounds like spin. But the source here is someone I've known closely for years. Make your own judgment — here's the rest of what he told me about Gibson (mugshot left): “No one's really asking questions about his state of mind. That's why he was driving around 90… Read

ABC Cancels Mel Gibson's Holocaust TV Mini-Series Because Of His DUI Anti-Semitic Slurs

I have learned that, because of his DUI anti-Semitic slurs, ABC canceled development with Mel Gibson's television production company on a non-fiction TV mini-series about the Holocaust that was still in the early pre-script stage. The deal had been announced late last year based on the self-published 1998 memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis but who lost several relatives in concentration camps, titled “Flory: Survival in… Read

Arianna: Hollywood Must Make Mel 'Pay The Price For His Bigotry & Intolerance'

Arianna Huffington, political activist and friend to many Hollywood heavies, wrote on her Huffington Post today a strongly worded challenge to the entertainment business re the Mel Gibson slur scandal. Here are excerpts: “For years, social conservatives have questioned the morals and ethics of the entertainment community — tossing around the shibboleth of “Hollywood values” as an oxymoronic grenade in the culture wars. Well, now is the time for Hollywood to show what… Read

Disney's Oren Aviv Supports Mel Gibson

Here's an update to my Hollywood Reacts To Gibson Slur Scandal posting: newly promoted president of production for Walt Disney Pictures Oren Aviv visited the set of Mel Gibson's in-the-works movie Apocalpto months ago and came back singing its praises and predicting Oscar consideration. So it stands to reason that he's now telling Slate's Kim Masters: “I've worked with Mel on several films over the years and we have a great relationship. We all make mistakes and I've… Read

EXCLUSIVE: My Interview With Rabbi Hier Of Simon Wiesenthal Center About Mel Gibson: DUI Arrest 'Shows He Has A Problem With Jews… It's Not Just His Father That Is A Problem.'

Here is my exclusive interview this morning with Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center — an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust by fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action. The rabbi was speaking by telephone from Israel, where he said his organization was distributing funds for aid and shelter to… Read

UPDATED: Hollywood Reacts To Gibson

2ND UPDATE:  *More Hollywood Reaction to Mel Gibson* UPDATE: *Newly promoted president of production for Walt Disney Pictures Oren Aviv and Endeavor agency partner Ari Emanuel have both stepped forward and publicly expressed their opinion about Mel Gibson in light of his alleged anti-Semitic slurs made during his DUI arrest in Malibu Friday. But the two Hollywood execs have very different views.* Aviv visited the set of Mel Gibson's in-the-works movie Apocalpto months ago… Read

Box Office

Miami Vice Mann-Handles #1 From P2 For Director's Best Opener; Ant Can't Bully As Warner Bros. Bombs Away This Summer

SUNDAY: Nostalgia for Crockett and Tubbs, plus a grittier look and story, made Universal's Miami Vice the No. 1 movie at the box office, knocking off month-long Disney blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest. This was Michael Mann's biggest movie opening of his directorial career as Vice took in $8.8 mil Friday and $9.1 mil Saturday for what was a less-than-anticipated $25.2 mil finish. Then again, the pic was playing in only 3,021 theaters, so its… Read

ICM: Behind-The-Scenes of 'Project Beta'

Back around Christmas 2005, I was tipped that ICM's Jeff Berg wanted to close two big deals for boutique agencies. Flush with his month-old $100 million private equity infusion from Rizvi Traverse Management, the agency chief was looking closely at Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann Agency as well as Endeavor Agency. Then, there followed a waiting game. Rumors were rampant. But the reality was that these deals aren't done overnight: like everything in Hollywood that involves… Read

Box Office

'World Trade Center' Tracking OK; 'Talladega Nights' Tracking Bigger

There's still plenty of summer left for the movie biz. I'm told Paramount's World Trade Center is on track for a $25 million-to-$30 million opening weekend starting August 9th. Gotta say, that's more than I ever expected. Sony's Talladega Nights; The Ballad of Ricky Bobby looks like it'll debut even bigger with $30+ million for August 4th weekend. Great summer at the box office for… Read

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