Meet Abu Dhabi's $1 Billion Media Man: 'We Won’t Be Making 'Borat 2''The inflow of foreign cash to Hollywood may look stalled with the DreamWorks/Reliance deal held up in all these fashionable new bank implosions, but as discovered earlier this month, the oil barons of Abu Dhabi have enough stashed under their mattresses to greenlight some $1 billion worth of film projects over the next five years. The guy the emirate brought in to spend it, ex-Disney overlord Edward Borgerding, has hinted at a few of his more modest goals in recent weeks — "[Abu Dhabi Media Company] is fulfilling its ambition to become a global player in the media industry," he told the Financial Times — but only finally spelled out his real plot for world conquest in a new interview with Sharon Waxman:
We’re not going to do anything that’s insulting to the culture that we come from. But 99.9% of movies made in Hollywood are released here in Abu Dhabi and don’t insult anybody. I don’t think that’s an issue. For the kinds of stories we want to make, we’re not going to have to go there (to R rated territory). Most successful movies in the financial sense have been G and PG: Star Wars, Gandhi, Lord of the Rings.
Q: Would you back a major production like a Lord of the Rings? A: I don’t think we’ll be in the studio business of launching $200 million summer tentpole movies and hoping against hope they succeed. Q: What’s your favorite movie of the past few years? A: I loved Gandhi. I love movies like Chariots of Fire. Dances with Wolves. Star Wars. I like comedies. I couldn’t sit through Borat. We won’t be making Borat 2.
And somewhere at the end of a long, thirsty queue in the desert, Rupert Murdoch softly cries.