×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Van Sant off of ‘Castro St.’

After a year of developing the project, Gus Van Sant has bowed out as the director of Warner Bros.’ planned Harvey Milk biopic “The Mayor of Castro Street” due to creative differences over the script.

Van Sant had a vision of the film that differed from Becky Johnston’s recently delivered rewrite and he wanted to pen his own original draft.

After reading an outline by Van Sant, WB brass, Ixtlan producers Oliver Stone and Janet Yang and Storyline producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron decided to stick to Johnston’s script.

According to Yang, Van Sant told the producers that “he could easily see how someone would want to make this (Johnston’s script), but it wasn’t the movie he was comfortable shooting.”

Based on Randy Shilts’ biography, the story centers on the life and times of openly gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, who along with the city’s Mayor George Moscone was assassinated in 1978 by former supervisor Dan White.

A WB spokesman confirmed that Van Sant had left the project over “creative differences.” Zadan and Meron, who originally optioned the book and set the project up at WB, declined comment.

Yang said Friday, “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Gus’ work and thought he would be an ideal choice for the project, but when push came to shove and we had the script that we had worked so arduously to arrive at and absolutely believe in, it wasn’t something Gus wanted to direct.”

The producer said that Van Sant — who was unavailable for comment — saw “Mayor” as a smaller, more intimate movie than WB and the producers envision. Yang said, “…. We need a film that can justify the budget we’re talking about.”

Van Sant had been working with Johnston on the script since last year, but was primarily tied up with directing his latest film, Fine Line’s “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.”

While there was no official start date set for “Mayor,” the producers had hoped to begin lensing the film this summer.

Yang said while discussions are under way about securing an immediate replacement for Van Sant, nobody had yet been approached.

Van Sant’s agent John Burnham, of the William Morris Agency, declined comment on his client’s departure from “Mayor.”

He said the director’s next project will likely be Buck Henry’s screen adaptation of “To Die For,” which Laura Ziskin and Leslie Morgan are producing for Columbia.

More Film

  • Cannes The Square Winner

    SF Studios Acquires Nordic Rights to Ruben Östlund’s 'Triangle of Sadness'

    SF Studios has acquired the Nordic distribution rights to Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness,” the Swedish filmmaker’s follow up to the Palme d’Or winning “The Swquare.” A contemporary satire taking place in the world of fashion, “Triangle of Sadness” is set on a luxury yacht and ends up on a deserted island where hierarchies are [...]

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • 'The Cordillera of Dreams' Review: Poetic

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Cordillera of Dreams'

    Rounding out his sublimely meditative, deeply personal documentary-essay trilogy on time, memory and the relationship of Chile’s breathtaking landscapes to its troubled human history, Patricio Guzmán delivers “The Cordillera of Dreams,” a haunting and allusive exploration of the cultural impact of the country’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine. Coming after the exploration [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content