A lot of film notables have become cable stars this summer, including Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Michael Keaton — and Tom Rothman.
The Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman is hosting the recently launched “Fox Legacy” series on the Fox Movie Channel, providing commentary on memorable pics such as “Big,” “Broadcast News,” “Wall Street” and “The French Connection.”
But unlike those other performers, Rothman is writing his own script. The segs provide an inside look at the moviemaking process from the executive suite.
Chuck Saftler, Fox Movie Channel’s g.m., says Rothman’s an original choice for hosting duties. Saftler and his team saw Rothman speaking about the Hollywood suite life in Variety‘s HBO documentary “Boffo” and knew they had the right guy for the job.
Saftler says, “Tom fits in with our goal — he’s smart, energetic, knowledgeable about film history and explaining how we got here today by looking at the past.”
For example, in his intro to “MASH,” Rothman notes that scripter Ring Lardner Jr. had been blacklisted; Stanley Kubrick passed on the project; Robert Altman wasn’t in the top 10 of the first directors considered; and Altman hated all producers and execs on principle.
Rothman concludes by noting that “MASH” was a huge commercial success but lost out for best picture Oscar to Fox’s own “Patton” — which, to Rothman, proved that “film can look at great subjects from many angles.”