For some, the pitch is an art in itself, painstakingly developed and improved through a merciless process of rejection.
Then there’s James Carville, the political shouting head, who makes a passing remark about a movie he’s always wanted to see redone — then finds Sony Pictures jumping on the idea and naming him co-exec producer.
The project is a remake of “All the King’s Men,” which won the pic Oscar in 1949. The tale of a Louisiana demagogue, based on real-life Gov. Huey “Kingfish” Long, has always fascinated Carville, a Democratic strategist, former advisor to President Bill Clinton, frequent talkshow guest and a native Cajun.
Carville isn’t giving up his day job dispensing political advice, but he’s certainly reveling in the pic’s shoot, which is taking place in New Orleans and features heavyweights Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins.
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“I just watch stars work, then go to dinner and hang out,” he says. “Man, this is nice work if you can get it.”
He got the gig as a result of making a cameo appearance in “Old School.”
“I just said the novel is breathtaking and I’ve always wanted to do it as a movie.”
Producer Scott Budnick heard the remark, and eventually relayed it to Mike Medavoy, a friend of Carville’s. “Mike called and said, ‘Let’s do it!’ Next thing I know, we’re at Sony, pitching it to (vice chairman) Amy Pascal.”
He didn’t get his hopes up — “Hey, this is Hollywood, remember?” — but then Sony greenlit the pic and handed it to Steven Zaillian, who penned the script and is now at the helm.
“Oh, shit!” said Carville on learning the news. “Oh, wow!”