Nichols and maybe: 'Colors' in flux

Can Mike Nichols trim the budget on “Primary Colors” from $75 million to $50 million? That’s the latest in the ongoing saga of when the high-profile novel will make it to the bigscreen.

There seems to be confusion in town about Universal’s position. The studio allowed Nichols to shop the project around (with Nichols’ current deal structure and budget in place) to other studios two weeks ago. At that time, feelers were put out to other studios (Daily Variety, Dec. 12). U, as earlier reported, wanted Nichols and others to restructure the deal so all fees would be deferred until cash break-even point for the studio. Nichols disagreed, so a very amicable U gave Nichols permission to try to find a new home.

Now Nichols is back at U with the same deal, but with a possible new element. The two parties are trying to work out a digestible deal for both, which would include cutting costs and the possibility of bringing in a foreign financing partner. And that’s that.

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