Buy, Rent or Skip My Cousin Vinny?

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Author Topic: My Cousin Vinny (1992)  (Read 40 times)

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Re: My Cousin Vinny (1992)
« on: January 08, 2013, 06:24:51 pm »
NF: So, what’s the status of the sequel?  Is it going to be made?

DL: Probably not.

NF: Probably not?

DL: Yeah, what happened is when I was writing it, Marisa was nominated for an Oscar, which she won.  And she dropped out of the sequel.  And then the studio wouldn’t replace her, they wanted to rewrite her character.  They can’t rewrite her character.  It’s easier to replace her.  . . .  I said, “Why don’t you just replace her?”  ”Oh, you can’t do that.”  ”You can’t replace an actor? ” “Yeah.”  ”No.  ”It’s the character that’s supports it.”  ”No.”  ”It’s done all the time.”  ”Where’s it done?”  ”In plays.  They have different actors playing characters all the time.”  ”Well, this is a movie.”  ”This is what they do in the movies.”  ”Where do they do this?”  ”How about the biggest franchise ever made?”  ”What’s that?”  ”James Bond.”  ”Can you think of another case?”  ”Tarzan.”  ”Oh, well, that’s Tarzan.”  You win, you lose.  You cannot win.  What’s the point of even arguing?  There is no point.  You can’t argue.  I think it’s Mark Twain said, “You never argue with an idiot.  They’ll bring you down to their level and they’ll beat you with years of experience.”  And that’s kind of what it’s like to deal with the studio heads.  So, they wouldn’t replace her.  So then they had another writer come in and write another draft because I wouldn’t do it.  And they gave that . . .  page one rewrite . . . to Joe Pesci who stopped talking to the studio.  They let me read it.  I said, “This is terrible.  It’s not funny.  Not one funny moment in here.”  The studio executive said, “Oh, I think it’s great.”  ”You think it’s great?”  ”Yeah.”  ”Great?”  ”Yeah.”  ”Great as good, very good, excellent, and then great?”  ”Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s great.”  I needed to define what great is.  I don’t think it’s even good.  Not funny.  They gave it to Joe.  As I say, Joe stopped talking to the studio.  He thought it was so bad.  So, then there was a time when Marisa came around, she wanted to do it.  She and Joe were willing, but it did not happen – the studio said no because it’s taking too much time.  Do you think people have forgotten the movie?  Yeah.  I don’t know.  Again, it’s one of those things where you make your arguments.  I said, “Go ask your guys in video because this movie still shows on TV and it still sells DVDs.  It’s a very popular movie.”  You can’t convince them of anything.  I finally went to them and said the most convincing argument of all.  I said, “Okay, tell you what.  I’ve got financing for the movie and prints and advertising.  You don’t have to put any money out at all.  Not a dime.  All you do is collect money.  The thing is, you have to give the investors the lion’s share, which is not uncommon for the general distribution, for the theatrical distribution.”  . . . I just threw this at them because I wouldn’t normally do this.  You get the DVD.  That’s why going to a studio saying you have nothing to do, I’m going to give you $20,000,000.  You’re going to get $20,000,000. But here’s how studios work.  Wait a second, we get $20,000,000 and not do anything?  What do you get?  I said, “I get $20,000,000 if you get the $20,000,000.”  ”We don’t pay the $20,000,000?”  ”No, I get the $20,000,000 from someone else.”  ”Really?  Well, we want your $20,000,000.”  It’s not enough they make money.  They have to **** you.  That’s it.  If they don’t **** you, sorry, excuse my language, but you absolutely print it, they don’t feel like they’ve done a good job.  So, that’s part of the problem too.

NF: I know you said that she dropped out.  Do you know why she dropped out?

DL: I don’t know exactly why.  She was nominated, and what happened, she was being offered lots of different parts.  I think the idea of doing a sequel would be – maybe she was afraid she’d get locked into that character.  That might have been it.  But it was, I think from a career strategic point of view, I think it’s a mistake for her, because what actors fail to understand, is the audiences really don’t know they’re acting.  They just don’t think, “Wow, you’re a brilliant actor, you should be great in this, oh, you’ll be great in this.”  They don’t know you’re great in it until they see you.  They also loved her in My Cousin Vinny.  You’ve got to give your audience something like that now and then.  There are certain actors [who] are very smart with their careers.  Jack Nicholson, who’s been a star throughout all his career. There are a lot of actors who have not.  There are certain actors who have been the number one actor in the world, bang, and they go away.  Either they stop making those movies or they don’t make a smart movie that sells them.  Sean Penn, although he’s made some smart movies, he hasn’t made a truly satisfying commercial movie.  As a result, he’s not a big star.  He’s a star, but he’s not a big star.  He can get a movie of a certain budget made but not a big budget.  Certainly not one that’s going to rely on him.  What Nicholson is good at, he’ll do something that’ll be a big idea for the audience, a big people pleaser and then he’ll do something that’s more of an art film.  So he’ll stagger them out.  And he shows up as the Joker in Batman, as the Devil in the The Witches of Eastwick.  Smart actors like that.  That’s a smart career move.  But you take someone like Mickey Rooney, who was the biggest star in the world.  Not anymore.  He could barely get hired.  Burt Reynolds was the biggest star in the world at one time.  Not anymore.  There are certain actors that do that and then screw up their careers.

Writer Dale Launer actually wrote a sequel for My Cousin Vinny. Joe Pesci was on board and Marisa Tomei as well. That is until she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Suddenly, she was out. No one knows, but it's common for handlers and agents to go for bigger bucks. Suddenly, the sequel was DOA. But in a strange twist of fate, she came around and wanted to do it, but it was the studio that killed any chance of a sequel. Read on in the above excerpt. You'll be shocked to hear what did it in. You can check out the full interview with Dale here....

Abnormal Interviews: My Cousin Vinny Screenwriter/Co-Producer Dale Launer

When the movie first came out, I was 100% certain we would get a sequel. Just sucks that it never happened because of greedy f*ckers.
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