the new AbnormAl
value, or that it was the only way Sherry could get the movie madeat the time.As the rest o the country veered rom red alerts to orange alertsin the atermath o 9/11—
headline: “Showbiz Rocked byReel Lie!”—I was absorbed in simpler problems, like casting aguy or Kate Hudson to lose in ten days. As rocked as we may havebeen—and we were rocked—the show must go on. I was goinginto production. But in the boardrooms and executive suites o Viacom, which owns Paramount, everything was getting very un-settled in a consequential way.The year 2001, as we began the movie, turned out to be a pro-oundly transitional one, not just or America (and the world, inthe wake o 9/11), but or the movie business as well. Lookingback, it would seem that Paramount had been looking throughthe wrong end o the telescope, in keeping only the DVD rights inits sights and ignoring the world. It was the year o the rst
and the rst
and the audiences were getting their rstexposure to the brave new world o breakthrough special eects inCGI and animation. But the historical scal conservatism o Para-mount meant they were ignoring most o the new special-eects-oriented scripts, created or this startling technology, starting to hitthe town.Paramount had a philosophy under Sherry Lansing and JonDolgen, and or a long time it had worked: Sherry chose picturesby ollowing her gut, and then would make them or the lowestpossible budget (and lower). She’d made
(givingTom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis a big piece o the pro-its in success, but little in up-ront ees). She green-lighted MelGibson’s Scottish epic and Oscar winner
When Foxwent way over budget on
and needed a partner to nishthe lm, Sherry was able to say yes by buying domestic rights (U.S.and Canada) based on an overnight read. But it wasn’t workinganymore.