Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Selected screencaps from the Sony emails posted by val broeksmit @BikiniRobotArmy

To have a better view of the sequence of events, I've included the emails re  Jobs interspersed with those re Cleo since the same parties are involved and they sometimes discuss both films in the same thread.  Also helps to understand the unraveling relationship between Amy Pascal / Sony and producer Scott Rudin.  I've added parts from earlier posts from gawker, geektyrant and toh which fill in some of the blanks.

Newest on top


from toh
17 Dec 2014

Speaking of control, are you going to be the one who's in control on "Cleopatra" going forward?
I don't know. I'm not directing it. I'm just waiting on that one. I'm focusing on Africa right now, but no, I'm waiting to see what's going to happen. We've been slowly developing the script with Eric Roth, who's a great writer, and I've loved working on that and it's great. But it's big and it's complicated.

I want you to do it. I love that Stacy Schiff book.
It's great, isn't it? And it really says something about women and leadership that's important, and obviously it's a great adventure, but it helps us to understand why we had viewed her a certain way and who she really was.




from gawker

In November, Pascal and Jolie discussed the prospect. "Unbelievably excited," Jolie wrote; Pascal replied: "Me too/Lori and I talked about wigs last night."

from geektyrant
“Cleopatra? Marty is committing?” - Jeff Robinov
“Marty's version of Cleopatra is very complicated... but it's just my opinion.” - Pascal


Cleo and Salt

Re David O'Russell

Francis Ford Coppola's rep makes a bid for Cleo

from gawker

In mid July, Pascal has an idea. After sending a New York Times piece by Ben Brantley about a London production of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, she and Rudin took to a private email thread to scheme about convincing Jolie to abandon the ..Roth script and just film the play.

" I've been saying let's do this for a year," Rudin wrote. "So obviously the best idea. We ought to make this with her and Fassbender or Hardy or Cumberbatch and go home. And feel very smart." "now we need to convince here," Pascal replied. They worked out a plan: Rudin would reply-all suggesting that the trio make the play.

"She will be scared to just totally throw out Eric's script," Pascal wrote, to which Rudin responded, "Yes, we should definitely save Roth over Shakespeare...."
 " The Antony and Cleopatra story is the greatest, most romantic, epic part of the story and Shakespeare told is magnificently. It's the greatest play he ever wrote and it's changed the life of every woman who played it. It's the best female part he ever wrote." Pascal responded at length, "wondering" out loud if maybe the reason "the perfect actress who also happens to be a giant movie star" can't get a director for her movie is that "the script has not given anyone the foundation they are looking for to point the way."


I have just joined the email exchange. Above all I'm thrilled to hear the passion you both continue to have for this. I would say however that I don't think it's as off as you both do. I think making it a love story could undermined the female leadership and epic that we have built. I just got an email from a smaller director friend I love and trust who understands that it needs to streamline and shorten but was so taken by how well constructed and timely it is. All the things we always wanted it to be and nothing less. The person went on and on about it

I think we need a good script editor to work with Eric. He's open or will do with me. He knows we need to make it shorter to not be as intimidating. And I think we continue to discuss with great directors.

My point is that we have done something special and I don't think we should adjust course but streamline and clarify and hold strong.

But of course, I'm open to all discussions.

Rudin to Pascal: " She's seriously out of her mind." "I think we need an in person long conversation the three of us," Pascal wrote; to which Rudin replied, again privately, "Nooooooo noooooo noooooo please! Not a meeting!" Jolie did not reply.

By August, Jolie, who'd "already discussed a script editor with Eric," had circled back to Scorcese again, "aiming for 2016."

Cleo & Little House on the Prairie

From gawker
Rudin and Pascal try to sell Jolie on directing and acting in Little House on the Prairie; she declines and requests "another Cleo call at some point."


from gawker 
A conversation about 12 Years a Slave's Steve McQueen didn't go further.


Tomas Alfredson - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Let the Right One In
Jacques Audiard - Rust and Bone, A Prophet
Cary Fukunaga - Jane Eyre, True Detective



Jean Marc Vallee - Dallas Buyers Club, Wild
Dennis Villeneuve - Prisoners, Incendies
Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave, Shame
Paul Tomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood, The Master

Jobs and Cleo

From gawker

Emails from the hack show the Pascal and Jolie exchanging messages in November of that year (2013): "You are a treasure/I love you Tons," Pascal wrote Jolie. "Love you Amy xxx," Jolie replied. (All quotes from emails sic.)
So the arrival of Roth's script was an exciting prospect for the trio. " The only thing standing between us and this movie is your learning ancient Egyptian," Rudin wrote to Jolie. "Could you be ready by January 5?"
But the script was not quite as much of an ancient Egyptian home run as Rudin and Pascal were claiming. "I think we have to clean up the script and then enhance," Jolie wrote Pascal in early January. "I have crossed out many things and made adjustments. I would like to strip the things that lead it off track first. We need to be clear and efficient in order to get this done in a decent time. I started to re read the book and I am talking to philosophy teachers ect"
...When a new draft arrived in early February, Pascal wrote privately to Rudin : "She will like it CUZ there is barely any vulnerability left in her character and she now seems responsible for everything that ever happened." But Pascal—like Rudin—was still concerned about making the movie commercial: "We are gonna have to lean on her to make it a love story," she wrote.

After another meeting was rescheduled in anticipation of Roth's new script draft, Pascal asked Rudin to call Jolie. Rudin,  responded " She knows it's off. Calm down. She's an actress for hire, not Cleopatra."

This same email thread devolved in manner of the earlier one. "Wanna talk or keep fighting?" Pascal asked Rudin. "Keep fighting right now please," Rudin replies.

Nevertheless—as they frequently had and would—the two managed to patch it up quickly, and Pascal attempted soon afterward to suggest other directors for Jobs—"Is it fincher or bob z[emeckis] or marty [Scorcese] or ang [Lee] or alonzo ...there is losts to discuss." Rudin stands firm on Fincher (though not until after he asks who "alonzo" is: "the guy who did gravity," Pascal clarifies).

.. By February, Fincher had been handed the Steve Jobs script—and, as emails from the time attest, Jolie was unhappy, as he was her first choice for her Cleopatra. Rudin apparently pacified her by dangling the prospect of Martin Scorcese—with whom he was meeting—to direct. In this message from March 12th, Jolie wrote:

Amazing news. I am in edit and only half way through but so far I see that yes it's still long but it's strong and smart and with intrigue and sensuality. I love all the characters and feel it's more focused. Any director in their righting will be happy that it will not be hard to trim and that he will have a say in what stays.

It's all very exciting.

Let me know if there is anything I should be doing. Like getting on a plane and begging Marty xxx

Sent from my iPhone

Cleopatra directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Angelina Jolie would be, wrote Pascal, "the greatest movie ever."

Jolie wrote:

The one thought I would ask you both is about her "bald". I think that made sense in earlier drafts but if we are saying every time she's in bed she has no hair or a shaved head it changes the sensuality. I wonder if we should keep it out and discuss as an idea with the director. But I worry we could scare off a director.

The point was always that she be clean and raw and I think with straight black hair and no make up we would achieve the same and not distract.

I make this point incase we are starting to send it out we should ask to remove that one description.

Rudin: "I think it's provocative. I don't think it's a turnoff." Jolie agrees to "leave it but its shaved head. Not bald. Let's at least make that clear. And for the record I find it sexy and am happy to be bold. Feels statuesque and clean."


First I thought bald but then I was sitting at home during the night and I couldn't sleep because of it so now I think shaved; Or possibly a fade like Kid 'n Play; Maybe shaved for Alexandria, bald for Rome? And then curly tendrils for the asp? What do you think?


Well she was amazing with a perm in that Jewish movie about Daniel pearl. So I'm tempted to throw that look in somewhere but I don't think I can beat you can beat that kid n play look possibly with lots of pearls.

Jolie wrote, "this is the film I am dying to make." She planned to call Scorcese later in the week.

Pascal... forwarded the exchange to two underlings, Columbia Pictures president Hannah Minghella and SPE Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad, with the message "Scott and Angie BFF"

...Jolie and Scorcese didn't meet until May, (photos) and Scorcese was booked until 2016.

Next on the trio's list was Tomas Alfredson, the Swedish director of Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. "Who wants to make the call?" Rudin asked Pascal. "Your more impressive," she replied. "I have more money." "I bet you don't," Rudin retorted.

Also of pressing concern: What nickname should they give themselves? Pascal proposed:

Three musketeers

Three blind mice

Three stooges

Three tenors

Three little pigs

Three amigos

Three little bears

Three coins in a fountain

Three is company

Which are we?


Other films / Spider-man / Marvel / Sony Corp

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton

Michael De Luca

Sony Pictures Chair Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin

Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad

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