For years I’ve been attempting to write a piece entitled ‘Why Jerry Bruckheimer needs to Ditch Disney’ but it’s never come off. I’m not entirely sure why I never managed to write anything on the subject but now news breaks that Disney and Bruckheimer Films will be parting ways at the end of 2014, it seems like the perfect time to write my reasons for why I think the main man Jerry needs to break free from The Mouse House.
Disney and Bruckheimer Films first got together back in the 1990s with movies including The Ref, Con Air, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Gone in 60 Seconds, Coyote Ugly, Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, Veronica Guerin, King Arthur, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Déjà Vu which all fell under the Touchstone Pictures label which is owned by Disney. Because of the success of Touchstone, Disney made yet another company they called Hollywood Pictures which Produced movies Dangerous Minds, Crimson Tide and The Rock which on paper you’d never know were Disney!
In a statement that Bruckheimer released yesterday, he told THR:
“We had discussions to try to revitalize Touchstone, but they don’t want to do it.”
To me this indicates that Disney at the moment want to spend all their time and money on the Marvel and LucasFilm work that they recently acquired in 2009 and 2013 respectively and don’t have time for the Bruckheimer of old-type movies. And this is the first reason that I am pleased the ties will be cut.
Bruckheimer and Disney seemed to make the conscious decision back in 2003 with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl that family entertainment was the way to go and who could blame them? Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl alone brought in over $600m at the box office (and cost around $150m to make) and was the beginning of a multi-billion dollar franchise – and a household name in the form of Captain Jack Sparrow. From that point on, there were numerous more attempts to try to recreate the ‘Pirates’ formula with the likes of National Treasure, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and most recently The Lone Ranger which has now fallen famously flat on it’s face costing around $250m to make and only bringing in around $244m in box office tickets. Out of that list, only National Treasure got a sequel with talk of a third movie on the cards but time will tell on that.
Bruckheimer also told THR that The Lone Ranger isn’t the reason that Disney and JB Films are parting ways:
“We have a full body of work with them. It’s not about Lone Ranger. It’s more about the types of movies Disney is making, and the types of movies we want to make, in addition to Pirates….. It’s time for us to tackle all kinds of movies, not just Disney movies.”
The main reason I’m so pleased about the separation is that it means that Bruckheimer can get back to the movies that I love so much. The Armageddon’s, Bad Boys III which has been talked about for so long, Top Gun 2, he even mentioned doing a sequel to The Rock although I’m not sure I can ever see that happening! But I can dream and now that he has the freedom to move onto ‘more matures’ projects, the scope is endless. Top Gun 2 seems like it’ll be the most likely to go ahead first although with the death of Director Tony Scott last year, the schedule on that one could be in the balance too but I am certain Jerry can make it happen, especially as Maverick himself, Tom Cruise is onboard.
Jerry Bruckhimer is now 69 years old which is by no means old although he could have been taking his pension for the last 5 years…. but who knows how long the Hollywood Powerhouse Producer can keep going at the rate that he does, churning out movie after movie year on year. Yes there’s been quite a few turkey’s but looking at the list above, most of those have been over the course of the last 10 years interspersed with the Pirates movies.
For those of you worried there will be no more Pirates of the Caribbean movies, fear not as Bruckheimer also stated:
“We’re still working on Pirates and hopefully National Treasure, and we still have development at Disney.”
My Jerry Bruckheimer Super Shelf has long been waiting for some new, hard hitting ‘mature’ titles and I’m hoping that he’ll deliver from 2015 onwards. I’ve been awaiting the day when Disney and Bruckheimer parted ways and today is the day and I have to say, I’m rather pleased about it! Are you? Let me know in the comments section below.