We knew that the movie industry was in a bind when Universal shelved At the Mountains of Madness despite having James Cameron, Tom Cruise and Guillermo Del Toro attached. Those suspicions were confirmed when Universal also denied a Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and when Disney decided not to make The Lone Ranger, one of their few potential releases with Pirates of the Caribbean-like franchise potential, unless director Gore Verbinski shrank the budget way down. Now it seems Hollywood is finally in full-blown Scrooge mode. Two major upcoming tentpole releases have been put on hold, and may be scuttled altogether if costs can't come down. What's on the chopping block? Alex Proyas's Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, and the fantasy adventure Arthur & Lancelot from Warner Bros.
What happened? Well, money happened, obviously. Paradise Lost, which had also attached Benjamin Walker and Camilla Bell, was looking at a budget increase of up to 15%, with an already kinda-high cost of $120 million. The budget of Arthur & Lancelot had recently ballooned from $90 million to $130 million. It's easy to complain about this kind of thing, with studios seemingly throwing money at certain other projects, but hey… We couldn't afford to shell out $40 million on a movie at all, so tacking that cost on to an already expensive and untried property probably doesn't look good to Legendary Pictures or Warner Bros. either. Deadline had both scoops.
If anyone was seriously looking forward to either of these projects, all is not lost. They could still find a way to cut corners and make both films happen. But if you've got an expensive new project lined up at a major studio right now, we'd advise skimping on the fancy coffee and going the 7/11 route. Every little bit helps.
CraveOnline will be back with more budgetary woes after we cancel the Christmas bonuses.