Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture

ORIGINS: At TWC exec Renee Witt’s encouragement, Harvey Weinstein optioned the book, which Sydney Pollack began developing for David O. Russell to direct. “Sadly, Sydney died shortly thereafter,” Gigliotti says. “Then the project went on hold. I had just finished ‘The Reader’ (and) read ‘Linings’ at Renee’s urging. She said, ‘You have to find a way of getting this movie made.'”

FUNDING: “The Weinstein Co. financed the film 100%. It’s a big cast, and I beat up people to make them work for less. They were willing to do it because of the script and because of David.”

HIGH HURDLES: “Other than the rigors of shooting in a short period of time, it was a happy experience.”

DOMINO EFFECT: “David wrote the part of Pat Sr. for Bob De Niro. Honestly, if Bob had said ‘no,’ I’m not sure if David would have made the film. It was so clear in his head that Bob had to play this role. So Bob was probably the first element.”

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