Yesterday, the Tribeca Film Festival kicked off it’s “Tribeca Talks” series by celebrating 100 years of Universal Pictures. The panel featured a discussion between Judd Apatow and Robert De Niro that was moderated by Mike Fleming (from Deadline) The panel was also meant to include Meryl Streep, but unfortunately, she was unable to attend due to a family illness.
Before the discussion we were shown a six-minute package showing a bunch of clips from numerous Universal Pictures movies. Seeing them all together really made me realize how many amazing movies have come out of Universal, from The Deer Hunter to Jaws, Ray, E.T., Knocked Up, Back to the Future, Schindler’s List, Rear Window, American Graffiti, The Blues Brothers – really, this list could go on and on.
Highlights of the somewhat dry talk included:
* De Niro stated that he disliked the final poster for The Deer Hunter.
*Apatow said one of the weirder moments of his life involving Universal executives was an airplane ride after a test screening of The Cable Guy.
* Apatow said that The King of Comedy somewhat inspired him to explore the themes that he did in Funny People .
* After a series of failed questions from Twitter–the talk was broadcast live over the web–an audience member so fed up with the lackluster questions of the afternoon screamed that “he had a question,” and then actually got to ask his question to Apatow about if he would ever star in a movie. He said in response, “I learned during an audition for a commercial that I can’t act. The casting director actually taped my hands to my legs because I couldn’t stop pointing at things.”
* De Niro revealed that he helped get Meryl Streep cast in The Deer Hunter after seeing her in a production of “The Cherry Orchard” at Lincoln Center Theater.
* Apatow explained how his parody of Cape Fear entitled “Cape Munster” helped get “The Ben Stiller Show” picked up, and that De Niro had never seen it.
* After being asked if he was aware of a Raging Bull sequel being developed. De Niro commented that while he was not aware of this, that if someone wrote a good enough script he would be open to participating.
* According to De Niro, the proposed Midnight Run sequel is currently being written.
Look for more coverage from the Tribeca Film Festival as it runs from now until April 29.
(Photo Credit: Girlie/FameFlynet Pictures)