Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Action movie producer Joel Silver celebrated another birthday over the weekend.  Silver produced Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and The Matrix -- plus all their sequels.  Most of those movies made a healthy chuck o' change at the box office.  I interviewed the producer once during a movie junket in the 1990s.  I can't recall whether the movie he was promoting was Lethal Weapon 4 or Conspiracy Theory.   
I do recall that Silver and I talked about another hit movie producer.  Not only a hit movie producer, but he was also a hit movie director and screenwriter.  In some of the press information about Silver that I was given, I read that Billy Wilder's classic film, The Apartment (Best Picture Oscar, 1960), is one of his favorite movies.  Excellent choice.  It's also one of my favorites.  Billy Wilder was one of my favorite filmmakers.  He still is.

I asked Joel Silver about casting The Apartment.  I asked, not doing a remake, but "if Billy Wilder's script for The Apartment as we know it was placed on your desk today to produce, who would you cast in the roles done by Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon?"

His answer?  Julia Roberts...and Tom Cruise.  I asked Silver if he was serious.  He was.

And there you have it.  "Shut up and deal."

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