Josh Brolin drama Cartel gets dropped by Universal

Josh Brolin was set to begin filming on CARTEL, an American retelling of the Italian film LA SCORTA, next month but he might want to start looking for something else to do. Universal abruptly pulled the plug on the film this week saying in a statement: "As much as we had hoped to begin filming this spring in Mexico City, the studio and its producing partners did not feel it was creatively ready to move forward under the timetable and budget we had established."

The move reportedly comes after the budget on the film began to rise and concerns grew at the studio that the movie could recoup those costs at the box-office. Two adult-themed Universal films - GREEN ZONE and REPO MEN - both struggled at the box-office and the studio is taking a much harder look at its films in pre-production. One of the films it happened to take a hard look at was CARTEL and they decided it was better to cut their losses.

Could CARTEL still survive though? It's possible. Universal once put the kibosh on AMERICAN GANGSTER only to eventually revive the film a few months later with a new creative team. It's unlikely that Universal would allow the film to be shopped elsewhere so for now it looks like it'll be dead until someone figures out a way to make a super cheap version.

Brolin is currently filming TRUE GRIT with the Coens and has JONAH HEX set for release later this summer.

Extra Tidbit: People will eventually discover REPO MEN on DVD and cable and will wonder why it flopped so badly.
Source: Deadline



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