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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Universal studio president: "We make a lot of shitty movies"

Illustration for article titled Universal studio president: "We make a lot of shitty movies"

There’s a certain kind of candor that comes from a place of comfortable indifference, whether you’re a Disney executive secure that any blowback will be cushioned by a huge pile of money, or you’re just Mickey Rourke and what of it? But while he's certainly earned the right to blow off some steam after such a long tenure, Universal chief Ron Meyer’s recent speech at the Savannah Film Festival took on a slightly more pained, confessional edge as he recounted the myriad high-profile flops the studio had endured over the past few years, suggesting even he can’t believe some of the stuff they put out. “We make a lot of shitty movies,” Meyer said, “and every one of them breaks my heart.” While swearing that they always “set out to make good ones”—and reserving praise for films like United 93, A Beautiful Mind, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (while also lamenting that they didn’t make enough money)—Meyer then engaged in some very public, very honest self-flagellation for what he felt were Universal’s shittiest shitty movies. And as you might expect, it was pretty awesome. Like this:

One of the worst movies we ever made was Wolfman… It’s one of those movies, the moment I saw it I thought, ‘What have we all done here?’ That movie was crappy. We all went wrong. It was one of those things… Like I said, we make a lot of bad movies. That’s one we should have smelled out a long time ago. It was wrong. The script never got right… [The cast] was awful. The director was wrong. Benicio [del Toro] stunk. It all stunk… Wolfman and Babe 2 are two of the shittiest movies we put out.

Land Of The Lost was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong… Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t good enough. Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn’t good enough… All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it…

Cowboys & Aliens didn’t deserve better. Land of the Lost didn’t deserve better… Cowboys & Aliens was a big loss, and Land of the Lost was a huge loss. We misfired. We were wrong. We did it badly, and I think we’re all guilty of it. I have to take first responsibility because I’m part of it, but we all did a mediocre job and we paid the price for it. It happens. They’re talented people. Certainly you couldn’t have more talented people involved in Cowboys & Aliens, but it took, you know, ten smart and talented people to come up with a mediocre movie. It just happens.


Unfortunately, Meyer’s response to a question about Battleship garnered only a litany of mumbled profanity, as Meyer wandered off into the Savannah sunset to "just breathe for a while." [via Movieline]