Published March 27, 2009
Don’t look for the most recent Superman, actor Brandon Routh, in the latest film made from a book by Brett Easton Ellis. Routh’s whole plot line was cut from "The Informers," a movie that also features the two principal actors from "9 ½ Weeks" — Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger — but not in scenes together.
Sources say that when "The Informers" finally hits theaters on May 1st, we can also expect to see just about no one from its cast or creative side doing publicity. The reason is that Ellis and screenwriter Nick Jarecki are pretty unhappy about the way the movie turned out. The main actors are said to be in agreement. "The Informers" that they all started to make, they’ve told friends, is quite different from the finished product.
The trouble was generated when Gregor Jordan replaced Jarecki as director after Jarecki and Ellis did about three years worth of prep work adapting Ellis’s novel. "It was going to be like Boogie Nights, and now it’s turned into some terrible, dark meditation," an insider told me.
Routh’s part was cut when new financing came along, and Jarecki was replaced by Jordan. It’s an odd choice. "The Informers" is set in Los Angeles; Jordan is from Australia. Jarecki and Ellis’s script was cut from 150 to 94 pages.
Ellis told bookforum.com that the movie was supposed to be "an absurdist, lighthearted, and expansive satire."
He said: "It’s hard to tell now, but it was supposed to be like criminals and vampires and girls and young people." But the vampire story — Routh’s plot line — was cut out completely amid budget concerns and complaints of too much sex and violence. Obviously, the financial people didn’t see "American Psycho" or research any of its attendant publicity.
Ellis concluded: "There were things I recognized, and a lot that I missed. But it’s the director’s version of the script, and that’s just how it is."
As Jarecki, there’s an irony: on the same day the bastardized version of "The Informers" is released, so, too comes James Toback’s "Tyson" documentary, on which Jarecki worked as an executive producer with his dad, Henry Jarecki (he invented Moviefone). "Tyson" is superb, and has been a pleasant experience for everyone involved.
Susan Sarandon is not only back on Broadway, but she’s a hit. She wasn’t away as long as Jane Fonda, but almost. After ‘Exit the King" was confirmed as a hit last night at Sardi’s, Sarandon — glowing, exhausted, relieved — told me a funny story.
"I was at a Vanity Fair photo shoot and ran into James Gandolfini" — who opened a few days ago in "God of Carnage" on Broadway to ecstatic reviews. "There we were in a room full of theater people, and we said to each other, What are we doing? Are we crazy?"
It turns out neither one of them is crazy. Sarandon told me she’s been scared to death and "rehearsing every spare minute."
"I even started a diary. I called it Exit the Ego," she said. "I had to do it. And now, well, if it worked, I’m glad."
It worked: after lots of gossip claiming that the "Exit the King" would exit Broadway as soon as it opened, all the wags turned out to be wrong. Sarandon and fellow Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush—who’s performed the Eugene Ionesco play a couple of times before — click like crazy, and the result was an ecstatic opening night audience that included Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Bob and Lynne Balaban, Griffin Dunne, Sarandon’s other half, Tim Robbins, Julie Taymor, Miranda Richardson, David Hyde Pierce, Donna Murphy, Bill Irwin, Chris Noth, and of course, Hugh Jackman and wife Deborah Lee Furness.
Geoffrey Rush was relieved by the reaction too since two nights ago, on the eve of opening, he told me he lost his voice. "I had a lot of acupuncture and rest and hot tea," he said. He knew the audience was full of stars, too. "I saw Goldie," he said, "as I was walking through the dead on stage. But I didn’t let her know."
Another Soprano is doing well, too. Edie Falco, Emmy winning actress who played long suffering Carmela Soprano, has a new hit series. Her "Nurse Jackie" series got a super secret preview last night for Showtime, and it went through the roof. The ex Mrs. Soprano plays a nurse in a New York hospital in the half hour dramedy, surrounded by a mostly unknown cast. Episodes begin airing in June…
…Jesse Hilsen, the ex manager of rock group Kiss, has gotten away with his various bad deeds again. If you recall, Hilsen took Kiss’s money, left his wife and kids high and dry in the 1980s and skipped to South Africa for 12 years. No alimony, child support, nada. When Hilsen finally returned to the United States in 2006 he served a year in federal prison as a deadbeat dad, but never coughed up any dough. His ex wife Rita, who’s lived in a women’s shelter for years, dogged him into bankruptcy court trying to get back real estate and other property she’d already won — but never received — in her divorce. Clever Hilsen transferred the stuff to his second wife, New York shrink Joan Packles Margolis. Now the bankruptcy court has ruled that Rita Hilsen, after twenty years, has to start all over again. The court actually backed a settlement that would give the 65 year old Rita $50,000 — in five years, and only if she didn’t try to pursue her ex or Packles-Margolis. She — the second wife — gets to keep everything. Justice? It’s blind and dumb sometimes…
…The above story sounds like a circus, and Britney Spears has an album called "Circus." But the real circus — Ringling Bros/Barnum & Bailey — opened last night in New York at Madison Square Garden. I hadn’t seen it in about 20 years, but my almost nine year old nieces Hannah and Charlotte wanted to go. What a great surprise: the circus is great. They’ve given it a taste of Bollywood, too. Beautiful costumes, amazing acrobats and jugglers, and happy enough looking elephants, tigers, horses and poodles perform dazzling routines that really do suggest The Greatest Show on Earth. If you’ve been away from the circus, a real three ring circus, it’s time to go back. You’ll be happy you did. Hannah and Charlotte were over the moon…
...Last: Legendary, remarkable Marianne Faithfull plays City Winery tonight and tomorrow night. Her new album, called Easy Come, Easy Go, has just been released in the U.S. You don't know who she is? There would have been no Rolling Stones without Marianne, kids. Do the diligence. We owe her a lot...