Part of the appeal of HBO’s Entourage was that no matter how treacherous Hollywood could be, Vinnie Chase always knew he had the loyalty and friendship of his Queens, NY, pals to fall back on. That spirit seems to have gone AWOL in the negotiations to move the series to the big screen. Nearly 10 months after my colleague Mike Fleming Jr revealed that Warner Bros had greenlighted a script by creator Doug Ellin that he will direct, progress has slowed to the point that some of the gang are publicly taking shots at each other. Exec producer Mark Wahlberg, on whose life Entourage is loosely based, told TMZ last week that the film will happen “as soon as those guys stop being so greedy.” Since Jeremy Piven and Kevin Connolly already have made their deals, Wahlberg seems to be directing his remarks at Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Adrian Grenier, who played Chase. Grenier responded via Twitter: “I will sign any deal that gives ALL the boys an opportunity to share in the upside of success EQUALLY.” There is precedent for this in the last HBO series to transfer to the big screen: The exact same thing happened in 2004 when Michael Patrick King got the go-ahead on a big-screen version of Sex And The City.
It moved along at a fast pace and seemed a sure thing until Kim Cattrall said she wouldn’t be bringing back her philandering publicist character Samantha Jones unless she got a raise that put her closer to Sarah Jessica Parker, who got an eight-figure salary and half that much in producer fees. It slowed everything down, but the deal was made eventually and everybody was very well paid when the 2008 film grossed $415 million worldwide and spawned a sequel.
Its unfair to stain the cast of Entourage with accusations of being greedy just because they now want to get paid. Neither Grenier nor anyone else in the cast has had a breakout role since the show ended its run in 2011 and who knows how many future opportunities they’ll get at some big dough? The hope here is that everyone calms down, figures it out and Entourage gets the same happy Hollywood ending as Sex And The City, despite the war of the words.