Unreal. Oliver Stone is reassuring The New York Times that his new 9/11 summer movie, Paramount’s World Trade Center, is NOT a political film. My reaction? Then there’s no reason for anyone to see this pic (since Nic Cage isn’t a draw anymore). Aren’t there enough bland directors and bland movies in Hollywood without Stone and this film joining that noncontroversial ilk? More to the point: why shouldn’t this be a political film? The NYT may have ignored mention of this dilemma for Paramount, but I won’t: because, if the pic doesn’t do well overseas, then isn’t that a clear signal by other nationalities that the Dubya administration has utterly squandered the post-9/11 sympathy which the world so obviously felt for us? That means everything connected with this movie — its content, its making, its marketing, its box office — becomes hopelessly political and to deny that is sheer lunacy? For Stone to be backing off shows how much of a studio tool he’s become. After all, he likes his monied creature comforts out there in San Ynez Valley, so the big wuss will now go out of his way to please the Paramount poobahs by passing on the political statements he once was so famous for. There’s always the chance that Paramount is craven enough to already write off foreign moviegoers and just focus on those jingoistic U.S. types who wave the flag in one hand and hold a radio tuned to Limbaugh or Hannity or O’Reilly in the other and who just need a little reassurance that Stone’s latest film isn’t an anti-Bush polemic or a Fahrenheit 9/11 sequel. But, reality check: those close-minded people won’t go to this movie precisely because Stone was at the helm. They’ve already prejudged its content. Can Paramount really expect them to embrace a director who symbolizes everything they abhor about Hollywood if he just eats a little humble pie in the newspaper they hate even more? I smell an August 9th disaster.
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