David O. Russell Finally Walks Away From His Troubled Comedy Nailed
The political satire Nailed wrapped production in South Carolina near the end of 2008, but not under the best of circumstances-- the production was shut down when the production company ran out of money. The film was never finished but director David O. Russell stood by it as financiers Ronald Tutor and David Bergstein worked to pull the money together. But now the relationship between the three has broken down, and as THR reports, Russell has walked away from the film entirely.
"I, unfortunately, am no longer involved in the project and cannot call it 'my' film," Russell told the Reporter. "The multiple production delays and stoppages, which were caused by David Bergstein and preceded Ron Tutor's direct involvement with me, have now spanned two years, and the circumstances under which the film would now be completed are much different on several fundamental levels than when we embarked several years ago." Tutor, who is also in negotiations to buy Miramax right now, was understandably diplomatic about the whole thing: "It was a decent negotiation between the two of us. No lawyers. No idle threats, just two people trying to clean something up, and we couldn't get there."
Apparently the big sticking point for Russell wasn't that the film has been languishing unfinished for so long, but that Tutor was asking for producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher to cut their fees in half. Tutor says he'll be finding a new director to finish the film, and it's unclear if stars Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal will need to come back, or if the remaining pieces to be shot can be filmed without them. Nailed started off as a pretty promising idea, a satire about health care and the government and sex (of course), but now it can't fairly be described as anything but a disaster. At least Russell-- whose next film, The Fighter, comes out this fall-- can now move on and leave all this nonsense behind. It's a shame we can't say the same for Miramax, an indie studio about to be bought by a guy who has destroyed what could have been a promising indie film.
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