Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp Broke Director Peter Weir, Says Ethan Hawke
Don’t count out Ethan Hawke’s collaborations with Russell Crowe or Johnny Depp after the ‘Dead Poets Society’ star blamed director Peter Weir’s 12-year absence from Hollywood on two high-profile men who gave a hard time”.
While talking to IndieWire about his new six-part Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward HBO Max documentary, “The Last Movie Stars,” Hawke was asked about his “Dead Poets Society” director, who is receiving an honorary Oscar. Why hasn’t the ‘Witness’, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and ‘The Truman Show’ director made a movie since 2010’s ‘The Way Back’?
“I think he lost interest in movies. He really loved that job when he didn’t have actors giving him a hard time. Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp broke it,” Hawke said .
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Crowe starred in the 2003 period film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which fans hoped would become a series, and Weir left the Depp film “Shantaram” in 2014. t the time, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. said, “Peter dropped that movie because his take on it was very different from the studio and the producers.”
Hawke hasn’t worked with Weir since 1989’s “Dead Poets Society” and seems to think he’ll never get the chance again. “He’s such a rare person these days, a popular entertainer,” Hawke said. “He makes mainstream movies that are artistic… I think Harrison Ford and Gerard Depardieu were his kind of actors,” he said, referring to the stars of the Weir movies “Witness” and “Green Card.” “They were director-friendly and didn’t see themselves as important.”
Fortunately, Hawke found a way to balance artistic expression with more commercial endeavors. He directs personal and artsy films like “First Reformed” and TV series like Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird,” which he also produced, and bigger mainstream projects, like his villainous turn in “Moon Knight.” from Marvel.
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And unlike Newman, who hated making the ’70s disaster film “The Towering Inferno”, Hawke had fun “playing[ing] in the Marvel Sandbox “with Oscar Isaac”, which he calls “a very good experience”.
“[Newman] resisted becoming a brand at the same time as the industry told him to pay to play. If you don’t make people money, you don’t have creative freedom,” Hawke said. “We can laugh at ‘Towering Inferno’ now, but it was the biggest movie of the year. He got 10 years of creative freedom from that movie. He was smart to do it, even if it wasn’t. is not a film to talk about in the legacy of his work.
“The Last Movie Stars” debuts Thursday on HBO Max.
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