NEW YORK — As preemgoers made their way from Thursday’s Ziegfeld bow of “War of the Worlds” to the Rose planetarium after-bash uptown, Par execs took a few minutes to relax by the bar.
“Steven hasn’t made a movie like this one in years,” Viacom co-prexy and co-chief operating officer Tom Freston said proudly. “This film has echoes of 9/11, and he really did it with this one. Not that his reputation needed cementing.”
Freston resumed chatting with his Par chief Brad Grey at one of a battery of bars set up at the aptly chosen party spot. The Viacom honcho then began chanting a crunk lyric — “Whup that trick!” — from a central rap tune in his studio’s upcoming hip-hop pic “Hustle & Flow,” right then and there at the “War” party.
Meantime, as guests began streaming in from the Ziegfeld screening, which benefited the American Red Cross, they were met by waiters serving white wine or a cocktail that seemed to have landed from outer space, gurgling and smoking with dry ice inside.
There was plenty of showbiz schmoozing after the media’s crush to get pics of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes back on the Ziegfeld’s red carpet, where Gotham security precautions were more intense than usual due to heightened interest in the couple and an already infamous water squirting incident in the U.K.
At the bash, Par co-prexies of production Brad Weston and Alli Shearmur powwowed with helmer Darren Aronofsky and producer Frank Marshall in one corner as Susan Sarandon and pic’s Tim Robbins made their way past to a private table in the space’s center.
Also on hand for the far-out preem was everyone from Par prexy Gail Berman to Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin to Donald Trump. Jeffrey Katzenberg was also on hand to welcome the DreamWorks co-production.