Maven Pictures’ Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray are teaming with Amy Adams to produce Object Of Beauty, based on the Steve Martin novel. Adams will star as Lacey Yeager, a clever art entrepreneur who climbs from gallery assistant to gallery owner, and from a tiny downtown studio to a posh uptown one-bedroom. Over a decade and a half, Lacey flies from New York to Russia to Washington D.C. to scout and buy art, steals a cherished family painting, and sleeps with and disposes of several men, including one who becomes a famous artist.
Among his many accomplishments, Gil Cates obviously will be known as the person who produced more Oscar shows than any one in the history of the Academy. Talk to any producer who has done it just once or twice and you will get this astonished look when you tell them Gil Cates did it 14 times in the last two decades. And with his always calm and cool manner, he made it look so easy. Perhaps that is why every producer doing the show in Gil’s off years always sought out his advice — and he always happily gave it as he told me when I interviewed him exactly one year ago about his memories on being the man behind so many Oscarcasts. “I’ve had lunch with each producer and producing team going back to my off years,” he told me. “The one thing I’ve told everybody is the Oscars is such a big show that no matter what you do there are gonna be people who like it and people who don’t. The most important thing is to do a show you like. There’s no way to get out totally alive. Do a show they find unique and fun and special. That’s a victory.”
Gil Cates had a lot of victories in his long career. As a former president of the DGA, its current secretary/treasurer and its chief negotiator for the last four contracts; as founder of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television; founder and artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse; as director and producer of such multiple-Oscar-nominated films as Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams and I Never Sang For My Father; as well as so many TV films that made a lasting mark on the medium. There’s so much more, but my own personal connection (aside from attending the great theater he oversaw at the Geffen) has always been with the Oscars, and on those occasions when I got to talk to him or interview him I was like a kid in a candy store listening to his stories (sorry, some I just can’t print — off the record). His last show aired in 2008, the year No Country For Old Men won Best Picture. But this was also the year of the writers strike that KO’d the Golden Globes and put a dark cloud over the Oscars until just 12 days before the show was to air, when it was settled. But Cates, with his usual calm of a master negotiator and problem solver, had a Plan A (with all the stars in a strike-free show) and a Plan B (with no stars but a heavy emphasis on history and clips) ready to go, essentially prepping two different shows simultaneously, depending on events out of his control. It’s a good thing he was in charge because a lesser or more inexperienced producer might have cracked under the pressure. Not Gil. In the end, he produced a classy, star-studded show as usual but was ready to deliver whatever cards were dealt. Read More »
Thursday night I had the honor of hosting the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tribute to the legendary Carl Reiner, which also featured a surprise appearance at the end of the two-hour show from Carl’s Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13 co-star George Clooney who presented him with the enormous crystal … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: New Line Cinema is in early talks to acquire a pitch for a comedy vehicle that would re-team 2010 Oscarcast hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin with Adam Shankman, who will direct and who produced the Oscars that year. … Read More »
James Franco isn’t the only awards show host this weekend who has bagged a big film role. Joel McHale, who tomorrow hosts the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards, is in final negotiations to join Mark Walhberg, Mila Kunis and Seth … Read More »
Steve Martin is demonstrating the power of creativity on Twitter. In the past few days, he’s written short and sweet reminiscences on the passing of Blake Edwards and Steve Landesberg. But Martin has spent the better part of the last … Read More »