We hoped you liked the
clip "test footage" of Spike Jonze's troubled adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, which made the rounds in February amid rumors of the $75 million film's slow demise at Warner Bros. We're reading now that that may be all you see for at least a few more years while Jonze tinkers and tweaks on Warners' watch, prompting Alan Horn to offer an update today to his bloggy BFF Patrick Goldstein.
And while the release has now been postponed indefinitely and Horn assures us that Jonze is staying on the project, tell us if Horn's comments after the jump read as one of the less emphatic endorsements you've seen from a studio boss this year:
"We've given him more money and, even more importantly, more time for him to work on the film," Horn said. "We'd like to find a common ground that represents Spike's vision but still offers a film that really delivers for a broad-based audience. We obviously still have a challenge on our hands. But I wouldn't call it a problem, simply a challenge. No one wants to turn this into a bland, sanitized studio movie. This is a very special piece of material and we're just trying to get it right. ... The jury is still out on this one. But we remain confident that Spike is going to figure things out and at the end of the day we'll have an artistically compelling movie.""
Goldstein brings up a good point that for better or worse, Warners gambles (or used to, anyhow) on directing talent more aggressively than most studios are prepared to do, but that for every Christopher Nolan franchise reboot there's a Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) or Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion) lurking in the distance. The worst thing Horn and Robinov could do, though, is nudge Jonze somewhere toward the middle — somewhere ostensibly "safe," where the edge and the bloom wear off in short, mediocre order, leaving everyone dissatisfied.
Which, of course, is where it's headed considering Warners' recent hard right turn. Thanks a pantload for the pep talk, Horn.
- Can Spike Jonze save 'Where the Wild Things Are'? [The Big Picture]