Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture

ORIGINS: “Paul came up with the idea while we were doing ‘Blood.’ His family was involved in World War II, and he was fascinated with stories of GIs returning and how some were very damaged,” Lupi says.

FUNDING: “We had a few dead ends. After ‘Blood,’ Universal wanted to do it, we did the budget and then it went into turnaround. Then we went to River Road (that didn’t go anywhere), there was a brief moment with Warners and finally Megan came in and financed it 100%. The bizarre thing was, after the success of ‘Blood,’ we all thought it’d be easier making his next film, but it turned out to be more difficult.”

HIGH HURDLES: “Finding the right locations. Paul laughs when I mention rebate states. Unless it’s the proper place, he’s just not interested.”

DOMINO EFFECT: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was always on board, then Joaquin, Amy and everyone else followed.”

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