Justice League‘s not-so-great performance at the box office this weekend opened up major questions as to where the DC cinematic universe will go from here and whether or not rumors of scrapping the universe design for singular movies might be the best path forward. These are tough questions for filmmakers coming on the heels of what was one of the biggest questions in the industry toward the beginning of the week: who will get worldwide distribution rights to the next Quentin Tarantino movie in the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein?
As we learned earlier this week, Sony will be taking those rights following an extensive meeting with Tarantino on November 8th to discuss the future of his upcoming project, which centers loosely around the murders enacted by Charles Manson and his followers. The studio beat out heavy competition from the likes of Paramount and Warner Bros. to secure the title and as THR pointed out yesterday, the terms under which they were able to successfully woo Tarantino gave the director plenty of reasons to go with them.
Tarantino demanded a budget of $93 million to get the 1960s-set project made, just a little less than the $100 million it cost to get Django Unchained produced, a project that Sony helped bring in audiences for by handling foreign distribution. Apparently, the company’s performance was to Tarantino liking in that instance, especially since the movie made over $425 million worldwide. Tarantino’s next film will have to make about $50 million less than that to be profitable according to sources and Sony has reportedly given him final cut and immense creative control on the Manson picture, which means the film’s success will largely be on the director’s shoulders. That being said, a call to A-listers ranging from Brad Pitt to Margot Robbie has already been put out to lend the film an extra dose of oomph.
Tarantino didn’t get everything he wanted, according to those familiar with the situation. There are rumors that he wanted the rights to the film to revert to him after 10-20 years and that his initial demand for his percentage of the gross had to be negotiated down but this all seems minor as compared to what Sony is giving him. The reason Tarantino has yet to make anything less than a fascinating movie is that he works at his pace with his ideas and doesn’t have to worry about compromise in the name of market testing, the effectiveness of which has never been proven conclusively. What Sony gets here is a genuine Tarantino movie in their archives, something that any studio worth its salt would want to be able to boast about. And if the popularity of the subject matter is any indication, they should even get to make some money off the deal.
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