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Author Topic: Bird/ Dead Pool Connection  (Read 11091 times)
Big Fan
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« on: November 28, 2003, 02:53:23 PM »

Looking to verify a story regarding Bird and The Dead Pool.

Did Clint have to agree to do Dead Pool in order to get Bird made?

Does anyone know a reputable online page that can confirm this.

Thanks
 
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2003, 06:31:19 PM »

I don't know the answer to your question, Big Fan, but hopefully I can add some thoughts. I think that it's been understood throughout Clint Eastwood's long relationship with Warner Bros. that unlike most people in the business, he generally doesn't work with a contract. I've understood it that the projects that he has chosen have been more of a give and take, not contractually obligated, but that it is understood that in order to do the projects that he truly wants to do, the more personal projects, it would reflect favorably on him were he to also do more commercial projects that the studio wanted him to do. I think that this was what led him to do The Dead Pool . I hope this helps you out.
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2003, 06:49:06 PM »

Where did you hear this story?

At the time Eastwood had a very close but informal relationship with several executives at Warner Brothers. Though the pattern of his releases, especially in the seventies and eighties, sometimes gives the impression that he was consciously alternating "personal" and "commercial" projects, he always denied that he did so by design. For one thing, as he stated on several occasions, it was difficult to judge in advance what would be "commercial."
« Last Edit: November 28, 2003, 08:14:08 PM by KC » Logged
Big Fan
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2003, 07:59:57 PM »

I never heard the story from anyone credible...it just came up in a discussion...

and I was led to believe (true or not) that Clint was against Dead Pool but was on the hook to do a "commercial" film and Warner Bros wanted to revive Harry. I have my doubts, so I'm looking for any info that can confirm or discredit.

Thanks for the replies.
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KC
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2003, 08:11:49 PM »

It is probably true that Eastwood wanted to do The Dead Pool in part to "repay" Warners for backing him in the Bird project. Richard Schickel, on p. 430 of his 1996 biography Clint Eastwood, says
Quote
Morally, if not contractually, [Eastwood] felt he had to cross collateralize the commercially chancy Bird with this surefire Dirty Harry sequel.

However, in the same passage, Schickel also makes it clear that the choice of material was Eastwood's.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2003, 08:18:36 PM by KC » Logged
AKA23
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2003, 01:40:41 AM »

I'm sure KC is correct in describing a situation where Clint was not bound or contractually obligated to do The Dead Pool , even though he felt that it would only be fair after Warners had given him such freedom in doing Bird which I presume nobody ever saw as a vehicle that would garner Warners or Eastwood commercial success. Although I'm sure this is true, I think it is a bit naive personally to think that every single film Eastwood has done, there has been no influence by the studio as to which projects he has chosen. I think it's pretty clear that at least at certain aspects of his career, Clint often did films that were perceived to perhaps garner commercial succes, or ones that were more likely to, after or directly preceding more personal projects that Eastwood wanted to do but that were viewed as financially risky. I think all you have to do is look at films like Pink Cadillac and The Rookie and a few others to see this kind of relationship, at least informally, applying to Eastwood's selection of projects. I don't think anybody would argue that he chose to do films like Pink Cadillac and The Rookie and The Dead Pool purely for their artistic value. It would seem logical to me that financial considerations and the interests of the studio factored in, sometimes heavily. Most probably, Eastwood didn't do a project that he originally hated just to appease studio bosses, I would think that he would have some initital interest in the project, but as far as what to do when and which projects to do at a particular time, I think all of that played into consideration when choosing projects.  
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KC
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2003, 08:48:01 AM »

The question was, "Did Clint have to agree to do Dead Pool in order to get Bird made?" The answer was, "No."
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the stranger
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2003, 03:52:05 PM »

I always thought it was pretty much common Knowledge that Clint had no interest in the project at all (Dead Pool). I think Big Fan is perfectly correct, I think The Dead pool was done so that Clint could make Bird.
a sort of
"Ok you can make Bird, but gives us another Dirty Harry" (a safe financial return) kind of deal.
-Stranger-
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Hemlock
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2003, 04:22:46 PM »

I think The Dead pool was done so that Clint could make Bird.
a sort of
"Ok you can make Bird, but gives us another Dirty Harry" (a safe financial return) kind of deal.
-Stranger-
Don`t know if it`s true or false but it does make sense.
I`ve always believed that The Dead Pool didn`t do well at the box office.So why they keep asking for another one from Eastwood ???
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Christopher
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2003, 05:14:12 PM »

I'm sure The Dead Pool probably did all right at the box office. I doubt if it was near the business that Sudden Impact did, which I've heard did the best at the box office over all the Dirty Harry films.

I doubt if he had to do The Dead Pool in order to do Bird. I have nothing to back that up. But from some of the interviews I've read, it didn't seem as if people wanted him to do Mystic River, yet he got it made. I would think even when he was making Bird, he already earned his right to do whatever he wanted.

Or for that matter, look at White Hunter, Black Heart. I remember reading that Warners wanted him to do The Rookie, but I'm sure he had the final decision as to whether or not he wanted to do it.

If he had declined The Dead Pool or The Rookie, would Warners have not backed Bird or White Hunter, Black Heart? Or will we be seeing a more mainstream project from Clint now that Warners took the risk with Mystic?
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2003, 05:22:41 PM »

I heard the rumour that Clint made 'The Dead Pool' in return for Warners support for 'some' other project.
I don't know if it is true, but as I understand it, the more creative actors in Hollywood do this sort of thing with the Studios .  I hear that Bruce Willis has done some such 'deal' in relation to the upcoming 'Die Hard4'.

WKC.

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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2003, 05:35:15 PM »

Or will we be seeing a more mainstream project from Clint now that Warners took the risk with Mystic?

Probably.  And it may be in the form of 'Last Ride West'.
Warners would probably gun for a 'Dirty Harry 6' as well, but Clint almost certainly wouldn't co-operate.  
LRW will be more bankable than DH6, and Warners probably knows that, but they would no doubt like to get another Western AND another Cop movie out of Clint, and who can blame them?

WKC.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2003, 05:37:13 PM by wkc » Logged

KC
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2003, 06:24:11 PM »

Again, the question was "Did Clint have to agree to do Dead Pool in order to get Bird made?" If anyone wants to argue that the answer should be "Yes," I would like to see a better source than "common knowledge" and "rumor." I can't even find a suggestion of this in Patrick McGilligan's tome.
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the stranger
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2003, 06:40:41 PM »

Quote
I`ve always believed that The Dead Pool didn`t do well at the box office
from Hemlock.

I don't have any $ for the worldwide returns Hem' but I would'nt mind betting it made more $ than Bird.?

KC, I'm sorry you don't like my off the cuff term  Common Knowledge but I thought this was a simple chat board, as in a bunch of friends chatting?

Do we need to be checked upon everything we write here? It is certainly not going to encourage people to post if that is the case. I do not have access to my 35 or so books written on Clint at the moment as I am at work. If it is any help, I do recall Clint saying something on UK TV (maybe to film critic Barry Norman) about sometimes how he might make a film, and then give them maybe a western... I remeber he was talking very lightly on the subject, not carved in stone or anything like that, phew...
Why do you shoot down anything that may be considered as light chat? It has to be in print?
There has to be filmed evidence?

As I remember, when I did print something, which was in deed from a direct interview, you completely wrote that off also? ???
Is it not gospel unless only you can approve it first?

-Stranger-

« Last Edit: November 29, 2003, 07:17:54 PM by mgk » Logged

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AKA23
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2003, 06:43:11 PM »

I think KC is taking a very literal view of the question, while some of us answering preferred to take the spirit of the question and address the broader implication of that possibility. As far as the literal sense, I think that KC is right and that nobody would have forced Clint to do The Dead Pool if he would have refused and Bird might still have been financed by the studio. Would it have made it more difficult, if Clint had been seen as uncooperative and uninterested in the bottom line for the studio overall, I can speculate that this is probably so, but again, we don't have any conclusive evidence to state that this is the case. I think it's only logical to view it in this way, however, because if Clint decided he only wanted to do what he wanted to do and said screw everybody else and I am not concerned with anybody else's interests but my own, I think that it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for him to continue to get backing from the studio, and I don't think this is the case, because if Clint acted in such a manner, he would almost certainly not have the continued relationship with Warner Bros that he has, and would almost certainly not be the huge legend that he is today.  
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KC
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2003, 07:16:36 PM »

Once again, the original poster in this case was "Looking to verify a story regarding Bird and The Dead Pool," and not looking to have a general conversation about rumors one may have heard about the production history of either film. I don't really see how you can verify a rumor by saying, "I've heard that rumor too." This post has been on the board for more than 24 hours now. I have looked in numerous published sources without finding anything resembling confirmation. Whether Eastwood does, in fact, seek to alternate "commercial" and "personal" projects, or whether he was doing so at that stage of his career, is a different and not really closely related question (and it is a fact that however the record may appear to the unbiased observer, he has always denied in interviews that this is a consciously chosen pattern).

As to whether Eastwood had any personal interest in The Dead Pool, as material: both Schickel and McGilligan assert that the source of the script was a story offered for his consideration by two acquaintances of Eastwood's, his advisors in health matters. Here is how Schickel relates the story (Clint Eastwood, p. 430):
Quote
As if this were not enough activity, Clint knocked out The Dead Pool while Bird was in postproduction. Morally, if not contractually he felt he had to cross-collateralize the commercially chancy Bird with this surefire Dirty Harry sequel. As of a few months earlier, Detective Callahan "had been pretty much in my mind a closed chapter," he says. But his interest in diet and health had brought him into contact with Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, authors of a best-selling self-help book called Life Extension, in which a regimen they had tailored for Clint was discussed. Soon after publication they let it be known that they were developing some ideas for him, in which they were aided by a young writer named Steve Sharon. Among them was the story that became The Dead Pool.

McGilligan tells the story in more or less the same terms except that he describes Pearson and Shaw as Eastwood's "health and nutrition consultants."
« Last Edit: November 29, 2003, 09:21:06 PM by KC » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2003, 07:47:36 PM »


Did Clint have to agree to do Dead Pool in order to get Bird made?
 

Without delving into my books, all of which KC has so I'm sure she's saved me time, I just have a very hard time imagining Clint Eastwood being forced to do a movie in order to get another one made. This is the same man who formed his own production company with his first American Film so he could have control over his projects and career.

When we did the Hang 'em High film discussion, we discussed the formation of Malpaso in one of our questions:

Quote
Shortly after the U.S. release of A Fistful of Dollars, despite the fact that his fame was barely established in the U.S., Eastwood was able to dictate to United Artists the terms under which he would make his first domestic starring appearance. He proposed Hang ’em High as the project, imposed his choice of director (Ted Post), and proceeded to collaborate with Post on script revisions during the shoot. In order to serve as de facto co-producer in this fashion, he established his own production company, Malpaso.

I just can't agree that Clint would be forced to make The Dead Pool in order to get Bird made. It doesn't fit in with the way he does things... he doesn't compromise himself like that.  However, throughout his entire career, he has rewarded those who have supported him by giving them work in his films, by hiring them as screenwriters, directors, etc. So, it seems to be perfectly in Clint's character to give the studio The Dead Pool as a thank you gift for the backing of Bird.
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Brendan
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2003, 08:49:11 PM »

So, it seems to be perfectly in Clint's character to give the studio The Dead Pool as a thank you gift for the backing of Bird.

I was thinking the same thing.
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the stranger
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2003, 10:55:49 AM »

So was I? ???
Without being word perfect, is there really much difference? ???
-Stranger-
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AKA23
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2003, 04:23:37 PM »

I don't see that much of a difference, but that's only my opinion. There is a slight difference in that one is being coerced into doing something and another is a personal choice on the part of Eastwood, which may have been influenced by other things, such as feeling an obligation, or what have you, but the final choice does rest with Eastwood. That's really the only difference. The end result is the same. That's how I see it at least.

I think that we've probably exhausted discussion on this topic, at least for now. I'm sure that if more conclusive evidence is presented to support the idea that the questioner posed, that will be presented, and if something like that would be found, I'd be interested in learning about it. However, for now, I think we'd just be arguing semantics to continue to discussing this in the same manner. That's my opinion.
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