Looks like Macaulay Culkin won’t get “Rich” after all. Following what insiders describe as arduous, persistent wrangling between super-Mac’s father/business manager Kit Culkin and Warner Bros., the pricey tyke reportedly is out of the high-profile “Richie Rich” project at studio-based Silver Pictures.
Neither Silver nor Warner repscould be reached for comment.
But sources said the young star of the $ 1 billion “Home Alone” cottage industry was finally let go Tuesday after Kit Culkin reportedly wielded his director-approval privilege so inflexibly that the other involved parties could wait no longer for a decision.
Even with Macaulay Culkin’s exit from the project, “Rich” remains a high-priority film at WB.
Culkin reportedly would have netted a hefty $ 8 million to play the kind-hearted kiddie zillionaire — based on the Harvey Comics character — subject to director approval by all parties. The actor’s father would have received 10% of that pay. Culkin is said to be receiving $ 8 million to star in MGM’s planned “Getting Even With Dad.”
Helmer John G. Avildsen, who won the 1976 best director Oscar for “Rocky,” reportedly was rejected by the senior Culkin. Director Joe Johnston (“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”) is also understood to have been nixed by Kit Culkin.
According to sources, the decision process had gotten so touchy that Kit Culkin would not even sit down with possible director picks.
Macaulay Culkin’s Gotham-based International Creative Management agent, Sam Cohn, could not be reached for comment. But an ICM source confirmed that one persistent obstacle in the negotiations has been the inability to agree on a helmer.
The source further explained that WB prexy and chief operating officer Terry Semel, Silver Pictures topper Joel Silver and Kit Culkin each had equal say in picking the director. The insider refused comment on Macaulay Culkin’s ousting.
Nobody has been set to fill the rich-kid slot so far. But insiders agree that with Culkin out of the “Rich” penthouse suite, the field has opened up for less expensive contenders. WB and Silver are expected to fill Richie’s white shoes in about a week.