Sequel Director Is Publishing's Latest Embarrassing Sugar Daddy

Oh, hey there, literati. Remember when that German factory manager took over Random House? Sad. But take heart: The director of Beverly Hills Cop IV is investing in the biz, too. Exciting!

The highfaulutin' publishing set will be thrilled to learn the director's claims to fame include the critically groundbeaking Rush Hour franchise and of course X-Men: The Last Stand ("You bent X-Men over," raved one critic), plus just generally minting money for Hollywood studios, and eclipsing Stephen Spielberg by all the metric$$$ that count (without the burden of having to truck heavy Oscar statuettes around constantly).

Defamer's own Mark Lisanti praised Ratner, variously, as a "fauxteur," "superhack," "sequel whore" and a "hacky mutant director."

Now Ratner's launched a new book imprint, Rat Press. It seems to be transferring Ratner's reputation for cutting originality from cinema to publishing. The Los Angeles Times described the director's three new film books as follows:

Jim... originally published in 1971... feels pretty dated...

Robert Evans in Conversation with Lawrence Grobel doesn't break any new ground...

Grobel's Brando conversations... are for the most part culled from his voluminous 1978 Playboy sessions...

With any luck this guardian angel of the printed word will start a newspaper, too.