Sandra Bullock Turned Down ‘Lost City’ (At First) – The Hollywood Reporter

When Sandra Bullock Was Approached by Paramount About Producing and Starring the lost city, an action-adventure romantic comedy that is an ode to a dying genre, she was grateful, but no thanks. However, she couldn’t stop thinking about the project and returned to the studio with a correction: reversing roles and making the protagonist more heroic and daring, and infusing the protagonist’s character with feminine sensibilities. It was a move Channing Tatum would welcome as he joins the film about a romance author and her cover model who has gone on an adventure.

“There were no obstacles for the female character. And the male character that we saw before,” says Bullock The Hollywood Reporter. “I like not being 25,” continues Bullock, 57. “And I love that there’s a man willing to be many aspects of himself that weren’t traditionally shown in movies like this because they had to be the action hero. And Chan was so playful. Let’s just do it.”

These days, Bullock and fellow producer Liza Chasin, along with the rest of the Lost City team, are celebrating the film by crossing $100 million domestically in a major feat after becoming the first pandemic-era film to attract women back to theaters in droves, especially older women.

Looking back, Bullock, who runs Fortis Films, knew he would need a true producing partner if he was going to continue with Lost City and discovered it in Chasin, who founded 3dot Productions several years ago after leaving his longtime role at Working Title. Bullock has known the respected producer for years socially, but the two have never worked together.

“I just wanted a partner,” says Bullock, who has produced more than 20 films, including many of his own. “I was so tired of doing everything myself. [I thought]’Where are the producers listed on the call sheet?’”

The Paramount film has surpassed all expectations since it opened at the North American box office on March 23 and passed the $100 million mark over Memorial Day weekend. It currently stands at around $105 million domestically and $187.7 million worldwide.

Other useful statistics: Lost City is the second highest-grossing comedy at the domestic box office since the pandemic began ago free face ($121.6 million) and the third highest-grossing film with a female lead behind A Quiet Place Part II (US$ 160.1 million) and Black Widow (US$ 183.7 million). It is also the highest grossing original IP photo of 2022.

Paramount Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Development Ashley Brucks, alongside former President of Film Emma Watts, hired Aaron and Adam Nee to direct. Lost City from a screenplay they co-wrote with Dana Fox and Oren Uziel, from a story conceived by Seth Gordon. Daniel Radcliffe co-stars, while Brad Pitt makes a cameo (as well as Bullock makes a cameo in Pitt’s upcoming film). Bullet train).

Bullock and Chasin insisted on a theatrical release, despite Bullock having made his last two films, bird box and The unforgivable, for Netflix. (These two movies are on the streamer’s top 10 list of the most watched English-language movies of all time in their first 28 days.)

“Yes, streaming was flourishing, but there was no doubt in our minds that this was theatrical. We were filming for the theater. It was all about scope and scale,” says Bullock. The film was shot in 2021 on location in the Dominican Republic, adding to the adventure factor. “When you can finally go back to the movies, what a greater gift than going to see the kind of movie you haven’t seen in a long time in a theater,” says Chasin when referring to the action-adventure romantic comedy genre.

Really long time. dating the stone, starring Kathleen Turner – who also plays a romance writer – and Michael Douglas debuted in theaters 38 years ago. The genre slowly lost ground as the superhero fare grew; one of the last big offers was from 2008 Fool’s goldstarring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.

the lost city opened for a relatively modest $30.5 million, but has continued to build its audience (in the business, it’s known as “having legs”).

“Women of a certain age who aren’t 18 don’t go out the first weekend. We have other things to take care of… like families and careers. That’s why, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a movie that sticks around. This movie made going to the movies worth it,” says Bullock.

Women made up 56% of all ticket buyers the opening weekend, followed by 59% the next – by far a pandemic record. “One of the significant achievements of this film was to appeal to this segment of the audience,” says Paramount’s head of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson. In its second weekend, viewers aged 35-44 jumped from 18% to 20%, while those over 55 jumped from 13% to 14%. Of course, younger adult women also showed up. In the first weekend, 23% of ticket buyers were between 18 and 24 years old and 24% between 25 and 34 years old.

“The success of the lost city is a testament to Sandy’s creative vision and instincts. It proves that a well-executed female-directed film appeals to all audiences and reminds us that people still want to laugh together. This is the gold that Sandy, Liza, Dana and the Nees mined,” says Daria Cercek, co-president of Paramount Motion Picture Group.

Paramount’s marketing team, led by Marc Weinstock, premiered the film at the SXSW film festival in Austin, where Bullock has a home. He tells the star: “I thought we might be a little ‘too’ studio to get into. I thought, ‘Oh my God, if we don’t get in, I can’t walk the streets of Austin.’” Bullock. I had nothing to worry about. Lost City it was a festive feeling. But advertising is his least favorite part of the business. “I wither when it comes to the press, when it comes to being in public and when it comes to doing a photo shoot,” says the star. “I just fall apart. I’m not good at it, but what I love is working together with people to create something.”

During interviews at the time of SXSW, Bullock revealed that she would be taking a break from acting and production to focus on her two children (she was working back-to-back on the lost city and The unforgivable). In all, the Oscar-winning actress has starred in 50 films.

“I don’t want to be indebted to anyone else’s agenda but my own,” says Bullock. “I’m so exhausted. I am so tired and not able to make healthy, smart decisions and I know it.” She won’t say how long this break might last. “I really do not know.”

Adds Bullock: “Work has always been steady for me and I’ve been very lucky. I realized that it was possibly becoming my crutch. It was like opening a fridge all the time and looking for something that was never in the fridge. I said to myself, ‘Stop looking here because it doesn’t exist here. You already have; establish, find and be fine not having trouble validating you.’”

Bullock says he’s producing the lost city with Chasin was a fabulous experience, as was working with Paramount, which allowed her the kind of creative freedom and respect she hasn’t always experienced. “I love working with artists, which is why Liza and I get along so well,” says Bullock. “If I’m going to go out with a bang, I want to go out with the right person.”

Adds Chasin about his future: “Sandy and I are going to do something together. It might just be baking cookies. We still don’t know what it is – it could be a movie – but it’s going to be great.”

So where does that leave the possibility of a Lost City sequel? Paramount sources say they would love to find more treasure with Bullock and Chasin.

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