"Cordial", "Charming" Studio Chief Explains Why Women Can't Sell Movies (Except Julia Roberts)

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Last week the legendary L.A. Weekly movie business reporter Nikki Finke broke news that Warner production chief Jeff Robinov had issued a studio-wide freeze on movies with female leads. (The rationale: a Jodie Foster movie for which the movie posters had misspelled "Jodie Foster" bombed.) Okay, so then, naturally, he kind of thought about denying it, but that would be lying, which wouldn't normally be a big deal but it's like a pet peeve of Nikki's, so he had a few off-the-record phone conversations and email exchanges with Nikki during which he tried to ingratiate himself to her while lying a few more times because he just can't help himself and instructed all his people to phone up Nikki's competitors calling her "crazy." Meantime, Nikki got ill, we're hoping not as a result of foul play, and managed to dig up even more specifics on Robinov's chauvinism: he's even downgrading the role of Wonder Woman in an upcoming film!


Sources inside Warner's tell me that, 1) Robinov doesn't believe there's an actress who can carry a movie worldwide since Julia Roberts, 2) Robinov has now gone so far as admitting to his studio colleagues that the decree I reported was made when he was "in the room", 2) Robinov is acknowledging that the studio is reassessing the strategy of making action pictures starring women, 3) Robinov was inundated with calls on Monday and Tuesday from media and Hollywood types asking him about my posting, 4) Robinov has three pics currently in production and six in pre-production and not one stars a women as the main lead of the film, and 5) he's nixed Wonder Woman as a stand-alone film, downgrading her to just one of four superhero characters in the proposed Justice League. Again, I stand by my story.

And we stand by our adulation of reporter Nikki Finke, whose comprehensive badassedness is detailed more fully in this Elle interview, and who for god's sake we know she doesn't do photo shoots but will she please let us know what she looks like one of these days? We've read she is pretty. (Yeah yeah yeah, fuck you.)

The Reality Behind Jeff Robinov's "Denial" [Nikki Finke]



I may sound like a film nerd or something, but back when Julia Roberts made movies, she made date movies. The Jodie Foster flick didn't really look like a date movie and it didn't appear to need a big screen for special effects, so it'll make its money off of DVD because that's how its target audience, both male and female, now watch film.