Movie Producer Joel Silver Faces Money Crunch In Hollywood

Movie Prodoucer Joel Silver has produced some of the biggest action hits of the last 20 years, including the 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Matrix' movies. Accustomed to big budgets and huge egos, Silver now faces the music along with the rest of Hollywood as movie budgets get cut and producing deals are scarce.

JOEL SILVER stands on the Warner Brothers lot and points to the remnants of a house where he filmed parts of four “Lethal Weapon” movies. “We blasted a toilet out of that window,” he says, smiling proudly. “Over there, we drove a car straight into the living room.”

Ah, the glory days.

Behind Mr. Silver, the flamboyant producer of some of the biggest action hits of the last 30 years, is the modest set for one of his current films, an R-rated comedy with no stars, almost no budget and — for now — no title. Not that Mr. Silver was ready to call the production small. “It’s a little movie, but it’s a big little movie,” he says.

And therein lies Mr. Silver’s challenge: How does a larger-than-life, free-spending producer fit into a movie business that has been tightening up — and cutting some of its more grandiose characters down to size?

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Filmmaking, Hollywood, Producers


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