Michael Douglas - Michael Douglas Pays Tribute To Late Hollywood Producer Saul Zaentz

Actor Michael Douglas has praised late Hollywood producer Saul Zaentz for taking a chance on him and giving him his first producing credit.

The Wall Street star reached out to Zaentz when he was developing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest after learning the producer had also expressed interest in the project, and admits the movie mogul took a huge risk by working with the newcomer - because he had to finance the movie.

In a new The Hollywood Reporter essay, he writes, "He certainly gambled in his career. He financed Cuckoo's Nest by borrowing against the proceeds of his company and its facilities, much to his partners' chagrin. Our original budget was $1.4 million, and we ended up going close to $4 million, without any outside financing.

"We were both two virgins as far as producing was concerned. We kept auditioning directors, and all the directors held their cards so close to their vest, they didn't want to show you anything. Then Milos Forman came along, opened the script to page one and started to share with us what he wanted to do.

"We were so relieved and excited, we definitely wanted him to be part of it. When we finished and showed it to the different studios, we didn't get many takers - only United Artists, which wasn't necessarily one's first choice back then, but they did a great job with it."

The film ended up becoming a critical and commercial hit, taking home five Oscars in 1976.

Douglas adds, "I think back to that great night at the Oscars. We were the favorite in some areas with nine nominations, but Jaws was up that year too. I had to persuade Jack Nicholson to go, because he been nominated and lost four times and felt hexed. We lost the first four nominations, but then it all started with screenplay, then director, actress and actor - and best picture. We were joking, 'Well, I guess it's all going to be downhill from here.'

"But Saul won three best picture Oscars, one for each decade. He was the epitome of an independent, with an incredible sense of material, and the courage to see it through. I owe everything to him. I was 28 years old and he gave me my first producing opportunity. I'll miss him dearly."

Zaentz passed away at his home in San Francisco, California on Friday (03Jan13).


Contactmusic

Tags: Michael Douglas - Saul Zaentz


Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations

Comments

Michael Douglas Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Michael Douglas

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All