After receiving a lawyerly talking to and even getting within one very, very close degree of separation from our target yesterday in the John Hughes Q&A Challenge, we're convinced that A) John Hughes knows about our quest for answers, and B) he has absolutely no intention of or interest in playing ball. While our feelings are slightly tweaked by Mr. Hughes' unwavering rejection, we can't take it too personally. After all, if one of the last experiences you had with the press — recently unearthed from the Spy Magazine archives by Jeffrey Wells — labeled you as an "impossible" and "capricious bully" who was responsible for "childlike rampages through [Hollywood's] playpen," then perhaps you would refuse even the most innocent of media inquiries as well:
"[I]t's not [worth it]," one former Hughesland resident concludes. 'Because his movies ultimately aren't that good. I don't think anyone should treat people like shit and get away with it just because they're a filmmaker. It would be different," he suggests, "if he were Martin Scorsese." ...
When the script for [ Career Opportunities] predictably yielded a dog, Hughes re-shot several scenes, and when that didn't work, he threw tantrums and demanded that Universal remove his writing and producing credits from it. A top Universal executive remembers, "He said he was a big-time guy now, and that he did Home Alone, and that we couldn't do that to him. He said, 'You're selling shit under my name.' We refused. His name is a selling point, even if you're selling shit."
The rest of the expose (tastefully titled "Big Baby") is just as brutal — yet oddly endearing in a Forest-Whitaker-in-Last-King-of-Scotland kind of way. We really do love our "doughy-complected" tyrants for better or worse, yet while we wouldn't let him fish-hook us by our nipples, we had planned to keep things fairly transparent with contextualized replies straight from Hughes himself. Alas, the combination of such a stinging press history and this week's swift, severe refusals doesn't bode well for our best intentions, but we must assume they reflect Hughes' idea of the right thing to do. If only that idea involved getting back to making movies as well.
- 'Big Baby' Scanned [Hollywood Elsewhere]