Producer Arnon Milchan was questioned by Israeli investigators in London this week, as part of a sprawling probe into alleged official corruption.Milchan has given testimony before about the gifts that he gave to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, which included champagne, cigars, and jewelry. According to Haaretz, this is the first time that Milchan has been questioned "under caution" -- meaning as a potential suspect in criminal bribery.Israeli media reports have alleged that Netanyahu intervened with the...
If Arnon Milchan had not gone into making movies, it’s possible his life might have been made into one; though the Israeli-born Forbes-listed billionaire’s first business venture – transforming his father’s modest fertilizer business into one of his home country’s largest agro-chemical companies – is fascinating enough, his exploits as a James Bond-style ‘secret agent’ in the ’70s and ’80s (covered in the unofficial 2011 biography “Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan”) were literally explosive.
Introduced to the U.S. film world in 1977 by American producer Elliott Kastner, Milchan began to underwrite projects in areas that interested for him, such as film, television and theatre – an early example of the latter being Roman Polanski’s 1981 staging of “Amadeus” in Paris. By chance, that production brought Milchan into contact with Terry Gilliam, which led to Milchan producing Gilliam’s 1985 film “Brazil.” Milchan’s defense of Gilliam’s art in the face of studio interference would set the template for his impassioned production style.
After the huge successes of his films “Pretty Woman” and “The War of the Roses,” Milchan founded New Regency Productions and went on to produce many more critical and box office hits, including “J.F.K.” and the Oscar-nominated “L.A. Confidential”. Still an ardent supporter of uncompromising new voices, with a watchful eye on the growing television and new media marketplace, Milchan recently backed Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant”, bringing him the second Best Picture nomination in a long and distinguished career.