Not even Jesus could save the producer-director’s very rich deal at Universal. But what did Tom Shadyac expect after he made the studio’s life miserable during the making of Evan Almighty, not just the most expensive comedy ever made (at a cost of $210 million) but also one of the studio’s biggest box office losers. As I reported last summer on DHD and in LA Weekly (Evan’s In Need Of A Miracle), the long-standing relationship between the director and Universal became frayed after Shadyac blew up at a Universal marketing meeting, bitch-slapped executives, fired his own marketing consultants Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones, and generally created mayhem — even though he later apologized. I understand that Shadyac’s people begged Uni not to let this bad news become public, so no one at the studio is talking. “It was just taking stock over many years whether his really rich deal made sense,” a source told me. “Ultimately, it didn’t. There’s a lot of water under that bridge.” But Shadyac, who exploited every aspect of his self-described “Jesus freakdom” promoting Evan Almighty, can’t walk on water.
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