Todd Field: Tom Cruise Saved Film from Harvey Weinstein
Without Cruise’s help, “In the Bedroom” could have looked very different.
Even before Harvey Weinstein was outed as a serial sex abuser, the former mogul struck fear in the hearts of filmmakers for another reason: his tendency to interfere in the editing process and dismiss the visions of young filmmakers.
In a new interview with The New Yorker, Field recalled his dismay when he learned Weinstein’s Miramax had bought his debut film “In the Bedroom” at the Sundance Film Festival. While the film was widely praised at the festival, Field says he knew Weinstein’s reputation for regurgitating films could jeopardize the response to his theatrical release. He says the film was ultimately saved by advice from an unlikely source: Tom Cruise.
“I was crying in the bathroom,” Field said. “I called Tom Cruise and said, ‘Something terrible has happened.’ I say do it, step by step'”.
Field went on to explain that Cruise told him to let Weinstein change the film as much as he wanted without delay, then wait for the remade film to test poorly with audiences. Once that happens, Field should remind Weinstein of the strong reviews the original cut received and suggest he release that version instead.
Field did just that, and he says the plan worked exactly as Cruise said it would. In the Bedroom went on to be a massive success and received five Oscar nominations, with Field scoring for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
While Field is currently enjoying rave reviews and a strong awards season for “TÁR,” he’s still no stranger to the struggles independent filmmakers often face. His notorious struggles to secure funding for his projects led to a 16-year gap between his second film, Little Children, and TÁR. And in a recent interview with IndieWire, he talked about how the theatrical landscape has become increasingly hostile to arts directors seeking to see their films projected on film.
“I mean, nothing has changed to make a movie,” he said. “I think the world for moviegoers has changed drastically in a way that I probably shouldn’t add. Other people have said it at least as well or better than I have and have been attacked or flamed for it. But let’s put it this way. I went out to the tech theaters in New York today and it was really depressing. Super depressing.”
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