‘Fifty Shades’ Producer on Salary Demands, Feuding With Harvey Weinstein and …
March 20, 2015 - Fifty Shades of Grey
A chronicle of this story initial seemed in a Mar 27 emanate of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
There’s a unsentimental reason why Dana Brunetti moved his Trigger Street Productions from a STK building in West Hollywood to a downtown L.A. loft 7 years ago. “This business is a lot of B.S. meetings that typically never lead to anything,” he explains. “Being down here is a unequivocally good filter or barometer of how critical a assembly is.” Given a success of Brunetti’s new efforts — both on his possess (Fifty Shades of Grey) and with Trigger Street owner Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, Captain Phillips, The Social Network) — there’s no necessity of would-be collaborators now creation a trek. Brunetti, 41, got his start as Spacey’s partner after a army in a Coast Guard, and he fast rose to turn an in-demand author (he and Michael De Luca kick out Brian Grazer and Scott Stuber for a desired Fifty Shades gig).
Raised in Covington, Va., Brunetti is proof that midbudget films — a slightest favorite gamble among a vital studios — can thrive. Fifty Shades cost $40 million and has warranted $529 million to date, while Captain Phillips ($57 million budget, $219 million worldwide) and Social Network ($37 million budget, $225 million worldwide) were essential and scored best design Oscar nominations. The singular father of a toddler daughter (whose name is tattooed on his left forearm) invited THR to his bureau in a former Nabisco factory, where he addressed Fifty Shades‘ on-set drama, tussling with Harvey Weinstein and since Frank Underwood or Scott Rudin would make a improved boss than Hillary Clinton.
Some of a troops plea coins that Brunetti has perceived from people on projects with whom he’s been involved.
A lot has been created about EL James and executive Sam Taylor-Johnson contrary on a Fifty Shades set. What’s a genuine story?
People are always going to disagree, yet eventually if we don’t agree, afterwards a film doesn’t get finished and expelled or it ends adult being positively terrible since somebody says, “It’s my approach or a highway.” And that never works. There’s been so many other cinema where there were battles on set that were genuine battles, where people were walking off set or perplexing to stop prolongation or hijacking modifying rooms. This got blown out of suit since anything with Fifty Shades in a title got attention. Big whoop. There’s disagreements each f—ing day, each setup, each shot. The press usually ran with this and blew it into a most bigger emanate than it ever was.
Will Sam be behind for Fifty Shades Darker?
No idea. We literally have no suspicion what we’re going to do. we have not even met with a studio or anybody nonetheless about a second film. We always said, “Let’s get this initial one out and expelled and afterwards we’ll regroup and figure out what we’re going to do on a next.” That hasn’t happened yet. So, [James] hasn’t been behind to a States [from her home in London] yet. we haven’t been into a studio yet. We’ve sent some emails behind and onward and were fundamentally like, “OK, we’re usually going to figure out when everybody can get together and meet.”
“No, it’s not a ‘Fifty Shades’ paddle,” Brunetti jokes of a oar given to him during a hang of ‘Captain Phillips’ by a few of his special op buddies. It’s given to a SEAL on retirement.
Given how most Fifty Shades has earned, will a check go adult for Darker?
I wish not. As a producer, we adore a fact that we finished it for as small as we did and it’s grossed as most as it has. I’ve been unapproachable of that on all my films. Will a check go up? Maybe if there’s renegotiations on deals and fees. But as distant as a tangible prolongation is concerned, we don’t consider so. We run flattering gaunt and mean.
What do we consider of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan wanting large raises?
Look, when we was starting out and had to cut my teeth and build my résumé to get in, we had to fundamentally work for giveaway on a lot of things. we still take reductions in my fees for a opportunities to do certain things. We got tardy on Captain Phillips about how most Barkhad [Abdi] and those guys got paid. Look during Jonah Hill in Wolf of Wall Street. It was good for his career. So I’m not going to cry for anybody who wants to be in this business usually since a thing they were endangered in did unequivocally good and they didn’t get paid [a lot]. That’s not a understanding that we made. If it was, I’d have some-more than a integrate Ferraris since all a income my films have finished is f—ing insane. You’ve got to start somewhere.
I don’t know. we mean, look, we don’t even have a author yet, so we have to lay down and consider about what a takes and all that would be, so that’s approach too premature.
It seemed like we were a consigliere for EL in Hollywood. How did we like that role?
She’s a unequivocally engaging chairman to start with. Her story is extraordinary — how she came from shade to this and still is unequivocally humble, no matter what people contend and consider of her. She’s indeed unequivocally frugal. You would never know that she’s finished as most income as she has. She has a Tesla, a small Audi that she bought herself. They live in a good house, yet it’s not what we would think. It’s in a unchanging area outward of London. When a check comes, if she’s profitable a bill, she still goes over to make certain she hasn’t been charged for anything she shouldn’t have been charged for. It creates me wish to check my check now. I’m like, “Wait, They do that?” None of it has left to her head. Her father bitches to her about her information devise when she’s over here.
Spacey’s boyhood home was located on Trigger Street in Chatsworth. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti gave them a sign.
What are your thoughts on all a new executive moves in a film business?
What happened with Amy [Pascal], we feel unequivocally bad for her. She got hold in something that was unequivocally over her control as distant as The Interview was concerned, aside from a fact that she didn’t have to greenlight a movie. But we consider that’s a jive evidence since there’s been a lot worse that’s been done. Some people are, “She shouldn’t have finished it. It’s North Korea. Why didn’t they usually change it to whatever feign country?” But afterwards it starts to be censorship. We’re afterwards humble to a terrorists. And afterwards a emails with her and Rudin. God dissuade anybody got in my emails or anybody’s email. Everybody jokes around and has fun during a responsibility of others, no matter if it’s on competition or sacrament or usually somebody they don’t like. We all do that behind and forth. we consider people are a lot some-more clever now about doing it, yet we’ve all finished it. Scott skated right by that since people think, “Well, that’s what we design from Scott Rudin.” Maybe that’s what they design of me as well. But Amy, we theory they didn’t design that of her or from someone in her position. As for Tom [Rothman] coming to Sony, it’s going to be engaging to see what shakes out. Now there’s going to be uninformed eyes on things. And with Paramount, who’s going to reinstate Adam [Goodman] is going to be interesting. we was not holding anything [to Paramount] since zero was happening. Depending on who they move in, maybe I’ll start holding projects there.
What would it take for we to take an executive job?
I would have to be means to come and go as we please. we could not lay in some office. You demeanour during a bureau now, it’s unequivocally creative, cold and tractable — we make a possess hours and do a possess things — unequivocally flexible. we don’t know if I’d do good in a structured, corporate environment. I’m unequivocally open. we share everything. we don’t care. we don’t have anything to hide. I’m unequivocally pure that way. we shouldn’t say, “I don’t have anything.” Everybody has things to hide. we consider [in Hollywood’s] corporate environment, everybody wants to be means to control and keep all sealed down. But a day and age we live in now, that’s subsequent to impossible. But as for what it would take, they wouldn’t be means to keep a control on me in a approach that we consider they wish a lot of executives, quite sitting there behind a table all a time. That’s usually sterile to me. I’ve got to be out doing a million things. That’s how we find stories. That’s how we get a relations and get a projects that we get with a writers, a directors. And afterwards you’d have to compensate me a f—ing lot of money.
How endangered is Spacey on projects when he’s a producer?
It varies. On House of Cards, obviously, a lot since he’s there and unequivocally involved. On Social Network, he was a small bit endangered on that, yet that eventually led us to House of Cards with [director David] Fincher. With Captain Phillips, we used him to come accommodate a captain with me, fundamentally to assistance pull a captain over to go with us. we always impute to Kevin as my arrow. If we need to get to somebody, we glow him during whoever it is that we need to get to, and he fundamentally opens a doorway for me, and afterwards I’m in.
Brunetti is a Ferrari fanatic. The dual models paint his span of full-size versions.
Do we have any skeleton to work with Social Network author Aaron Sorkin again?
I consider Aaron’s a genius. But my ex-girlfriend [actress Kristin Chenoweth] was an ex-girlfriend of his. (Laughs.) we would adore to work with Aaron. we can usually hope.
What’s a marketplace right now in Hollywood for these adult dramas of substance?
It sounds kind of crazy for me to contend this [given Fifty Shades], yet it sucks that it has to be all franchises and these big, violent movies. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, yet that’s all they’re perplexing to find, constantly. we consider it’s cannibalizing a bit, and we unequivocally start to get divided from a delight of filmmaking, a craft, and storytelling. Look how most income American Sniper made. There’s really an assembly for it, so there should really be a place for it. But even during Sony, it would have been unfit for me to get a film like Social Network or Captain Phillips finished there in a past year since they were focusing some-more on tentpole cinema and not those [types of adult dramas], even yet they were finished for a cost and did unequivocally well. It usually wasn’t their M.O. They were changing direction. But now with Tom there, maybe it will change back. We need to feel it out and start to see what they start coming us with or what I’m means to get traction with there.
How most is Netflix going to change a business?
Remember when a iPhone initial came out and Steve Jobs held it adult and swiped his finger opposite a screen, and a whole assembly was like, “Holy shit”? That wasn’t that prolonged ago. That was 2007. That’s where we are with Netflix now. Eventually that’s where we’re going to go with a studios. Right now, a theaters have a stranglehold on a studios, where they take a square of a films and take concessions. If we ran a studio, we would flip that. You wish to uncover my films? You compensate me, and I’m going to take a square of your concessions. And we would also recover a films day-and-date and make them accessible for streaming and assign a premium, $50, $60, $70, $80, whatever a marketplace will bear.
Do we consider within five, 10 years, Netflix will have a best design Oscar winner?
Oh yeah. They’ve been nominated for their dual documentaries a final dual years. With House of Cards, we got nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes right out of a gate. When we started, it was like, “We’re not going to be authorised for awards.” We were all like, “F— it, then. Who cares? We’re removing to make a good product. They’re giving us all a control. They’re giving us a garland of income and a ability to do what we wish to do.”
You famously clashed with Harvey Weinstein over a recover of 2009’s Fanboys. What were a lessons?
Look, everybody was creation a scent about Sam and EL. That was zero compared to what we was traffic with for 3 f—ing years with Harvey and a filmmaker — 3 f—ing years of this film being hold adult and never being released. When it’s finally released, Harvey usually put it on 10 screens and said, “If a fans like it, they’ll come out and see it.” we consider a lot of people shot themselves in a feet with it all a approach around, and we was kind of in a center of that hurricane. But Harvey’s a genius. We’re indeed looking for something to do together.
A mop shot from Brunetti’s DUI in New York some 20 years ago hangs behind his desk. “I still have difficulty with etiquette when we go into Canada,” he says.
Spacey told THR that he’s seen a closely rhythmical House of Cards ratings. Have we seen them, too?
No, and we don’t consider he’s seen them. Maybe Ted [Sarandos] told him what they were. They’re flattering tight-lipped on that one. we adore that Netflix does that since f— everybody. As prolonged as their subscribers are happy.
How prolonged will House of Cards last?
I have no idea. we mean, we wish for a few some-more seasons during least. Who knows? Maybe a new president?
Do we have a presidential claimant we like for 2016?
Do we like Hillary?
No. Not for president. we know it’s not a renouned thing to say. we desired [Bill] Clinton. Then we had Bush. we was not a fan of his. Then Obama, who we suspicion was going to be about change, and it’s a same shit. Just to go in there and be like f—ing Frank Underwood and get shit f—ing done. It needs to be a f—ing producer. Somebody that is ruthless. So we don’t know who that is. Maybe Scott Rudin for 2016.
What’s your protected word when traffic with Hollywood sadists?
I usually hang adult a phone.
Brunetti’s bureau is plentiful with ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia, including this stormtrooper, interjection to producing a 2009 film ‘Fanboys.’