Rick Lyman writes about the decades-long battles to make a film version of Chicago, including a Chandler Auditorium-ful of cast, director, and writers who were attached to the project through the years. One star is conspicuously absent from the scrum, Bebe Neuwirth, whose Broadway Chicago won her a Tony and transformed the property from a “half-remembered musical from the 1970’s [into] a fresh hit.” Yet somehow, casting “Catherine Zeta-Jones was an easy choice, with her musical comedy experience.”
Lyman leaves more such hints at the bitchy article that could have been, except that “upbeat amnesia” reigns among the “formerly fractious creative team,” the Neuralizer-like effect of a dozen glinting Oscar statuettes (and Harvey “the Hutt” Weinstein’s Academy-muscling for all the film’s nominations).
Well, almost all. Apparently director Rob Marshall’s not feeling the love. He thinks Miramax is not only not doing enough to promote him for Best Director, Harvey’s thrown his full weight behind Marshall’s competition, some flash-in-the-pan named Martin Scorsese. Miramax had Robert Wise “write”* a recommendation for Scorsese and his little film, Gangs of New York, but for Marshall, “to have Mr. Wise, the director of The Sound of Music, [and West Side Story and, oddly, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, – g.] come out in favor of the Gangs director was apparently the final straw.”
I threw together a quick PowerPoint slide on why, seriously, Marshall should be happy to be nominated:
* Wise, a former president of the Academy, found Harvey’d pulled him into a controversy.”His” essay pushing Scorsese for the Oscar was actually written by a Miramax publicist. The company had run the whole thing as an ad in Variety and other papers. Previously, the LA Times‘ John Horn busted Sony for inventing reviews from an imaginary critic. Someone embed that man!