'Ocean's' producer promotes his HBO documentary
There are no plans for an “Ocean’s Fourteen” — for now — but Jerry Weintraub has plenty of other projects cooking.
The producer’s in the midst of promoting “His Way,” the HBO docu about his life that debuts April 4. The docu comes on the heels of last year’s publication of Weintraub’s autobiography “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead.”
“It was very hard for me to do the book and the documentary, but I wanted preserve my legacy for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” he says.
Weintraub is developing Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” and a Tarzan project at Warner Bros., a Jennifer Aniston comedy at Universal and the “Matt Helm” reboot at Paramount.
“I’m not working on an ‘Ocean’s Fourteen,’ but the fact of the matter is that if Steven Soderbergh called and said, ‘I’ve figured out a way to do it,’ then I’d go ahead,” Weintraub told Variety. “It’s like with the new ‘Karate Kid’ with Jaden Smith. I’d been saying ‘no’ for years about doing another ‘Karate Kid’ for years because I didn’t have a story until this new idea came along.”
So he’ll start appearing soon on shows such as “Good Morning America” and “Jimmy Kimmel” to promote the doc, then take the rest of April off before getting back to work on features.
Weintraub broke into showbiz as a concert promoter, arranging tours for Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, John Denver and Led Zeppelin. His first producing credits came on “Nashville” and “Oh, God!,” followed by 20 others including “Diner,” the four “Karate Kid” pics, the three Soderbergh “Ocean’s” pics.
He said the best script he ever worked with was 1982’s “Diner,” penned by Barry Levinson. “It just came off the page for me,” he explained.
For now, Weintraub is on tap to develop the Liberace project for Warner Bros. with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon attached to star and Soderbergh directing, but that project was shelved due to Douglas’ throat cancer, from which he appears to have recovered. He’s now aiming to begin shooting the biopic about the flamboyant pianist next summer.
At 72, Weintraub is far from done. “I really do enjoy doing what I want to do,” he notes. “We’re still buying material and we get pitches all the time. The key thing is finding a script I love.”