Okay, I was a firm believer that Sahara sucked. When I reviewed it I gave it a very kind “C-” but that was back in the days before I started seeing every movie. Now my grading scale has changed a bit and any movie starring Penelope Cruz as a U.N. medical investigator and neurologist already starts off losing major points in my book. However, it seems I was not the only one that had beef with this pic as Clive Cussler, the fella whose book they took and turned into crap, is suing producer Philip Anschutz’s company, Crusader Entertainment, claiming his extensive rights of approval over the script and other aspects of the film were violated.
Oh Dolly! Gotta love it.
Back when this film was released, the Internet junketeers were all like, “So, is there going to be a sequel?” Then the answer would come, “Not sure, we’ll have to wait and see how this one does, but I would love to!” Yeah right! No one thought this movie was very good and when the author of the book has to sue you two years later it doesn’t look so hot.
…But wait! There is more to the story…
Anschutz is calling “bullshit” on Cussler’s claim saying that Cussler virtually blackmailed the company by refusing to give script approval and that he tanked the movie by disparaging it in public.
Ha! Okay, maybe he did talk shit about it in public, I didn’t hear about it, but there was an LA Times article back in December that I didn’t see that talks about this very same subject. However in that article there are some serious numbers and accusations going down:
- [Anschutz] agreed to pay $10 million per book for rights to the best-selling Dirk Pitt adventure novels, he gave author Clive Cussler extraordinary creative control over “Sahara”.
- [Anschutz] has since lost about $105 million to date on the film.
- “They deceived me right from the beginning,” Cussler testified. “They kept lying to me â€¦ and I just got fed up with it.”
- “It is the height of arrogance for Cussler to take $10 million to make a movie and then torpedo the franchise,” said Alan Rader, Anschutz’s attorney.
Now that is the tame stuff, it actually gets racial!
Next comes this bit:
Anschutz also alleges that Cussler made derogatory remarks about blacks and Jews while exercising his approvals.
What does Cussler’s lawyer, Bertram Fields, say about this? “They want to get these charges in front of a jury,” Fields said, “so blacks and Jews will hate him.”
Seriously, this is insane. I have no idea if Cussler’s script was good or not, but I can’t imagine it would have been some miracle that would have saved this mess. The trial is expected to take nine weeks, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shook told potential jurors Monday.
I am sure there will be some silly little outcome, but the girl fight before the trial just sounded like too much fun not to share. However, I now see why Paramount pumps this movie as much as they can, trying to earn at least a dollar back.