Thursday, March 19, 2015

Producer Dana Brunetti Talks About 'Fifty Shades' Sequels and Mentions Jamie

A lot has been written about EL James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson clashing on the Fifty Shades set. What's the real story?

People are always going to disagree, but ultimately if you don't agree, then the movie doesn't get completed and released or it ends up being absolutely horrible because somebody says, "It's my way or the highway." And that never works. There's been so many other movies where there were battles on set that were real battles, where people were walking off set or trying to stop production or hijacking editing rooms. This got blown out of proportion because anything with Fifty Shades in the headline got attention. Big whoop. There's disagreements every f—ing day, every setup, every shot. The press just ran with this and blew it into a much bigger issue than it ever was.

Will Sam be back for Fifty Shades Darker?

No idea. We literally have no idea what we're going to do. I have not even met with the studio or anybody yet about the second film. We always said, "Let's get this first one out and released and then we'll regroup and figure out what we're going to do on the next." That hasn't happened yet. So, [James] hasn't been back to the States [from her home in London] yet. I haven't been into the studio yet. We've sent some emails back and forth and were basically like, "OK, we're just going to figure out when everyone can get together and meet."

Given how much Fifty Shades has earned, will the budget go up for Darker?

I hope not. As a producer, I love the fact that we made it for as little as we did and it's grossed as much as it has. I've been proud of that on all my films. Will the budget go up? Maybe if there's renegotiations on deals and fees. But as far as the actual production is concerned, I don't think so. We run pretty lean and mean.

What do you think of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan wanting big raises?

Look, when I was starting out and had to cut my teeth and build my résumé to get in, I had to basically work for free on a lot of things. I still take reductions in my fees for the opportunities to do certain things. We got slack on Captain Phillips about how much Barkhad [Abdi] and those guys got paid. Look at Jonah Hill in Wolf of Wall Street. It was great for his career. So I'm not going to cry for anybody who wants to be in this business just because a thing they were involved in did very well and they didn't get paid [a lot]. That's not the deal that you made. If it was, I'd have more than a couple Ferraris because all the money my films have made is f—ing insane. You've got to start somewhere.

Any chance you guys will split the third book — Fifty Shades Freed — into two movies, like Hunger Games and Twilight?

I don't know. I mean, look, we don't even have a writer yet, so we have to sit down and think about what the takes and all that would be, so that's way too premature.

It seemed like you were the consigliere for EL in Hollywood. How did you like that role?

She's a really interesting person to begin with. Her story is amazing — how she came from obscurity to this and still is very humble, no matter what people say and think of her. She's actually very frugal. You would never know that she's made as much money as she has. She has a Tesla, a little Audi that she bought herself. They live in a nice house, but it's not what you would think. It's in a regular neighborhood outside of London. When the bill comes, if she's paying the bill, she still goes over to make sure she hasn't been charged for anything she shouldn't have been charged for. It makes me want to check my bill now. I'm like, "Wait, They do that?" None of it has gone to her head. Her husband bitches to her about her data plan when she's over here.


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