This image was lost some time after publication.

There are far too many notable passages in this coming Labor Day weekend's lengthy NY Times story (online now, for some reason) on lavishly upholstered, rapidly calcifying superproducer Robert Evans than we could possibly blockquote in a single post, so chock-full is the article with amusing, self-promotional Evanisms ("I'm a vital force to be reckoned with. I still have great ideas. Call your article 'Evans Reloaded'"; "I've been back at Paramount since 1991. The only ones back then who could have cared about buried bodies are dead and buried themselves"), respectful quotes from Paramount pals Sumner Redstone and Brad Grey expressing their desire to bronze Evans alive and install him atop their iconic water tower, ensuring he's a fixture on the lot forever, and fresh descriptions of his displeasure with Entourage's sneak attack inclusion of a doddering, Evanesque character after he kindly allowed them to shoot at his estate. But even with this aforementioned embarrassment of riches, we find ourselves again overpowered by the intensity of feeling between Evans and protege/twilight life-partner Brett Ratner, who is touchingly reserving the full application of his hacky gifts to the eventual cinematic realization of Evans' still-unpublished (and unsold) second memoir, The Fat Lady Sang:

But Mr. Evans also goes to great lengths to describe his friendship with and admiration for Mr. Ratner, a well-known figure on the industry party circuit who's had mixed success since he hit the radar with "Money Talks" and the "Rush Hour" series almost 10 years ago.

Mr. Ratner returned Mr. Evans's flattery in a phone interview last week. " 'The Fat Lady Sang' will be made into a film with me directing," Mr. Ratner said. "I want either Johnny Depp or Hugh Jackman to play Bob, who I consider not only one of the greatest producers of our time, but one of the greatest philosophers. 'The Fat Lady Sang' will be my Oscar picture."

We were as stunned as you to discover that Ratner's utterance of the phrase "my Oscar picture" did not, as we expected, suck all of greater Los Angeles into a black hole summoned into existence by the sheer force of the director's delusional self-regard. With the universe at least temporarily seeming to remain intact, we'll reserve further judgment on this theoretical project's Oscar worthiness until some footage is actually shot; we imagine that the film's final scene, in which Johnny Depp (obscured beneath six hours' worth of exactingly overtanned prosthetics and painstaking turtleneck-replication work) silently expires in a slowly rotating waterbed as all of Hollywood gathers at Evans' estate to hear the philosopher-Kid's final words of wisdom, could be an incredibly moving one, even if the stubbornly visionary Ratner insists that the deathbed explode magnificently once his dear friend passes.

[Photo: Getty Images]