To the Editor:
Regarding Peter Bart’s column (“Studios go ape over this helmer deal,” Daily Variety, Sept. 22), while the $20 million against 20% of the gross is very high, it is not groundbreaking.
That payment includes all writing (including Jackson’s writing partners, all producing (including his producing partners,) and his directing as well. There are no other gross players, so it is not like a Zemeckis-Hanks movie, or a Spielberg-Cruise movie where 40% or more might be given away.
The strange part of the deal, which your paper did not report, is that the movie is a “put” picture at a budget of $150 million. That is truly unusual, because that is a huge budget, and the studio has no input or control into the process unless the budget exceeds that number. And it very well might.