What happened to the remake of ''All the King's Men''?
When Steven Zaillian — the Academy Award-winning writer of Schindler’s List — announced his intention to remake 1949 Best Picture All the King’s Men, he got Hollywood’s attention. First, Sean Penn snapped up the lead as a corrupt Southern demagogue. Then a none-too-shabby lineup (Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, and Patricia Clarkson) filled out around him. By the time shooting wrapped in Louisiana in the spring of 2005, his movie was generating serious Oscar buzz.
Then the film disappeared.
Originally slated for mid-December, King’s Men was bumped last October to an unspecified date in 2006. Six months later, Columbia Pictures announced it would release the film Sept. 22. So what happened? After Men screened for test audiences, producer Mike Medavoy explains, Zaillian needed time to reedit (though Medavoy claims no major reshoots were necessary). He adds that James Horner is ”doing a couple of nips and tucks” on the score.
That’s a long time to spend in the cutting room, and early fall is not considered an ideal time for an Oscar contender. Only four September or early-October releases in the last five years have received Best Picture nominations, and none have taken home the statue. Audiences will have to wait until September to decide whether the production ”hiccup” is indicative of serious problems, or if Men‘s only fault is attracting too much attention, too soon. ”There’s always a problem with anticipation,” says Medavoy, ”that is, can you deliver? I think we do, but it’s not up to me.”