Intensively over the next few days, extending even for the next few weeks, a gaggle of studio moguls and/or their executives have scheduled a series of meetings with top agencies in Hollywood. Yes, the movie gods are coming down off Mount Olympus in order to soak up the wisdom of the mere mortals who rep the talent. Top agencies like CAA and WME and UTA and ICM are hosting intimate confabs with 20th Century Fox (Tom Rothman and/or Emma Watts) and Warner Bros (Jeff Robinov and/or Greg Silverman) and Universal (Adam Fogelson and/or Donna Langley) and Paramount (Rob Moore and/or Adam Goodman). That’s how seriously this Summer of Discontent has unsettled the studios who are beginning to admit being relatively clueless what to greenlight next now that so many movies aren’t clicking with moviegoers. “I have three heads of studios coming into my office. They’re completely at a loss about what to do,” one top tenpercenter put it bluntly. So what are the agents going to tell the studios? Here are our writers, here are their pitches and treatments and scripts, here is the originality you should be making instead of numbing predictability. Like, duh. Could this be an opportunity for creativity? That’s what a major producer told my colleague Mike Fleming yesterday: “this sluggish summer might be a blessing in disguise for talent and producers who want to take risks but have been hamstrung for the past two years by studios that have been operating in retreat mode, and looking for the safest bets possible. The lack of originality this summer might get off this safe track and in the mindset to take some risks again, and that would be a good thing.”
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