“Sadly enough, the Lazenby film was a disaster, and probably there wouldn’t be any more Bond movies” if Picker hadn’t brokered a deal with Connery for a king’s ransom and a deal to make any two other movies of his choice — to bring him back for one more picture, 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. “Sean realized he could trust us, came back, did the one movie, and saved the series,” says Picker, who adds, “One of the terms of his deal was that he would not have to talk to the producers. It’s laughable, but on the other hand, he was deeply offended and he had every right to be, because they treated him like shit.” Connery subsequently gave his $1.25 million salary entirely to The Scottish Educational Trust Fund. He adds, “Sean is famous for being cranky; I’ve never experienced it, he’s never been anything but cordial, but he was heard to say that the only movie executive he’d ever liked was me.” PICS: The Real Story Behind Bond, James Bond For every huge success there’s also failure, and in Hollywood there’s plenty of failure to go around. While Picker details in his book what went wrong with such films as Leap of Faith with Steve Martin, Leonard Part 6 with Bill Cosby and the epic James Michener novel Hawaii, he also lists a couple doozies that slipped through his fingers. Movies that crossed his desk that he saw potential in — but turned down or just couldn’t get approved for various reasons — include Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and Planet of the Apes . “We made a lot of good movies and we made a lot of bad movies and made a lot of disappointing movies, because that’s the nature of the beast,” he laughs. “I remember the bad ones I financed a bunch. There are no guarantees in life; it’s kind of fun when they work, and I don’t care what you say, it hurts when they don’t. It really does. There’s just as much hard work in a bad one as a good one.” Picker concludes of his career, “The thing that I treasure the most are those movies that I honestly think might never have seen the screen, had I not believed in the combination of talent and content.” David V. Picker’s Musts, Maybes, and Nevers: A Book About the Movies is available now.
Photo: Photos provided by 20th Century Fox, add a comment In Runner Runner, a Prince ton math genius (Justin Timberlake) who has cultivated a lucrative side gig via online poker loses his life savings and flies to Costa Rica to confront the magnate (Ben Affleck) who may have cheated him out of his money. In its early moments, the movie evokes everything from The Social Network to Casino. By the end, the film has become as exciting as a game of Old Maid. R-rated thrillers are hardly ever this dull and listless, but this movie manages to eradicate all of Timberlakes charisma and makes you flash back to Afflecks Paycheck/Gigli era. How does this even happen? Sometimes, films just turn out wrong. Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), working from a script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Oceans Thirteen), presumably set out to make a compelling crime drama set against an unusual backdrop. But what they wound up with is yet another slick and generic tale about a young man who dabbles in a life of crime, discovers its not for him and turns on his mentor. Nothing in the movie rings true, not the FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) willing to break the rules in order to get his man, nor the ambiguous romantic interest (Gemma Arterton) who may be running her own scam, nor the crooked Costa Rican cops and politicians who seem to do nothing other than get drunk with hookers, smoke cigars and wait for their latest bribe money to be delivered. Movies about poker usually like to bluff and surprise the audience. But Runner Runner, which teaches you absolutely nothing about the phenomenon of Internet gambling, doesnt have a single twist in store. The film is so rote and transparent that you keep waiting for a big reveal or curve something, anything, that would explain Timberlake and Afflecks presence here, other than the opportunity to spend several weeks in beautiful Puerto Rico (where the movie was filmed). Nothing about Runner Runner makes sense: Not its R rating, which easily could have been avoided with the removal of a couple of f-bombs; not the intermittent voiceover narration by Timberlake, which is used to plaster over plot holes; not even the participation of Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the films producers. Was this an early project he once considered starring in that just never got made?
Movies: ‘Runner Runner’ could be year’s most boring film
Comedy ” Thanks for Sharing “: Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow star in this movie about a sex addict and the woman he falls for. ” The World’s End “: The British comedy trio behind “Shaun of the Dead” is responsible for this rollicking ride about a pub crawl that gets interrupted by the apocalypse. ” In a World… ” Lake Bell stars in her writing and directorial debut about a voiceover artist following in her father’s very large footsteps. Drama ” Wadjda “: The coming-of-age film about a young girl who wants to buck the established order is the first feature-length movie made in Saudi Arabia. ” Short Term 12 “: Brie Larson plays a supervisor in a halfway house for troubled teens in Destin Daniel Cretton’s second feature. ” The Patience Stone “: An Afghani woman finds relief when she reveals her deepest secrets to her husband, who happens to be comatose. ” The Spectacular Now “: Another coming-of-age film, this dramedy deals with a bookish teen who starts a relationship with a hard-partying classmate. Documentary ” Generation Iron “: The engaging documentary follows seven men in the 2012 Mr. Olympia competition. Other movie options: ” Harvest of Empire “: Artisphere is hosting a free screening of the eye-opening documentary about immigration on Thursday at 7 p.m. Film|Neu : The annual film festival, which starts Friday, focuses on the latest and greatest from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Most of the movies will show at E Street Cinema, and highlights include a screening of the award-winning day-in-the-life film “Oh Boy” and the 3D movie “Measuring the World,” which recounts the friendship between mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and geographer Alexander von Humboldt. Tickets for most films cost $11.50. DC Drive-In : After the success of the summer series, Union Market is reviving its drive-in movie experience starting this Friday with “Caddyshack.” Entry is free and the parking lot is first-come, first-served starting at 6 p.m.