gross of all live ol' the movies he has starred in coming in at a healthy 8 | .05 | .831432 ). 'l'my is definitely onto a good thing here. and Pitt and Bloom are obviously abottt as big as they come so top up linance on the back ol‘ the stars‘ appeal was clearly not going be a problem. But star power can also work against the film schedule. 'l'ake lili/abeth 'l‘aylor. I11 ('lmpu/ru she convinced the weathered. ageing director .loseph Mankiewic/ to shoot around her menstrual cycles. ‘ll‘ I am going to play the most beautiful woman in the world. I want to look tny best.‘ she argued.

.-\long with set relocation. overly ornate staging. rewrites and rain. (Tm/mini spirallcd into a series of no show production days. each one costing between 540.000 and 875.000. That film also suffered at the hands ol thieves. w hich brings us to . . .

Location. 'l‘erry (iilliam's occasionally brilliant T/It’ .'I(/l‘('lI/lll'(’.\ of Baron .lliiiniiuust'ii epic exceeded its 523.4111 bttdget by Slfifim due in large part to the fact the Mafia took more than a passing interest in the funds

that were lilooding through the Rome-based set. Of

course. it didn’t help that (iilliam was barely on speaking terms with his producer Thomas Schithy. The lesson is to never shoot anywhere where local corruption is not under your control.

Now down to the nitty gritty. ()n a big production everyone wants to he paid ov er the odds. ll' yott want to avoid post—release legal battles particular attention needs to he paid to the music. even it the music yott Use

is in the public domain like. say. Beethoven‘s Ninth .S'ymp/zmrv. The producer needs to take into account who is performing the music. If you are using an orchestra. band or composer. you need to dig into your pockets for what they call cartage costs. namely the cost of bringing all their gear to where you are.

()n top of all this set construction. extras (currently working at a rate (11885 a day). transport. catering. rehearsal time. wardrobe allowance. crowd controllers. media lawyers. $5.000-a-day entertainment costs (namely for drugs. strippers and hookers) and a huge chunk of insurance will all have to be paid for.

The end is finally in sight when the film goes into distribution print reproduction. advertising. distribution and exhibition are the most impottant pans of pushing what a lot of the time is old blockbuster rope. The studio would be wise to open its product at 2.000 screens or more as coverage and bums on seats is everything. They charge the theatres about $2000 (H.300) per print even though the studios get volume based discounts from the businesses that duplicate the film negative to create prints. Then they sit and wait for the opening weekend figures. till the day after tomorrow and pray that their 'I‘rojan horse will please the gods and hoodwink the simple-minded folk of Troy.

Troy is on general release from Fri 21 May. The Day After Tomorrow is on general release from Fri 28 May.

BRAD PITT may have a some turkeys under his belt, but Ruth Hedges reckons his new role could prove he’s more than just a hot Hollywood dish.

Some rare actors just have it. That certain sexual presence simmering away under every performance. It may flash in the glint of an eye, the intensity of a stare or the pull on a cigarette, but essentially it’s the “frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn’ sexiness that is, frankly, so damn compelling. And one man, now in his 41st year, has it sizzling away; a certain William Bradley Pitt. born Oklahoma. 1963. and graduate of Kickapoo High School.

The movie star may have dressed as a giant chicken while working for El Pollo Loco before getting his first break in The/ma and Louise (1991). but with a few other embarrassing fowls under his belt (Snatch, The Mexican), he is back with a role that could hardly be more befitting: the most beautiful warrior in all of Greek mythology. Achilles.

If Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships with her pretty face. Brad of the Midwest launched a thousand wet panties when he hustled his cowboy charm into Thelma‘s bed. And it’s been a twisting ride ever since. He could have cruised down the pretty boy route, relying on his blonde, blue- eyed-boy looks. But some challenging roles the dark, brooding detective in Se7en (1995), and the unstable Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys (1995) proved he was capable of a whole lot more.

Then came the zenith in 1999 with Fight Club, tapping into the neurosis of male identity. And the force behind this? Brad Pitt, AKA Tyler Durden. It seems that whatever role Pitt plays there is something of the Texan cowboy leaning on a post. chewing a piece of long grass and holding onto his big buckled belt. He's an heir to the sort of American-ness that Robert Redford espoused.

But if he's all-American, he's nearly always the anti-hero. rarely playing the romantic lead. preferring to stay on the edges while exuding something solid yet unpredictable. Achilles. the ultimate hero in Greek mythology, could prove to be this cowboy's nemesis.

Elizabeth Taylor starred in the classic turkey, Cleopatra (above left). Leo and Kate were luckier with Titanic (top right), but Gangs of New York (bottom left) and Pearl Harbor (bottom right) were flops.

13—27 May 200/! THE LIST 17