Show business is a business … except when there’s a message the industry wants to send. Or, in some cases, not send at all.
Then, capitalism takes a back seat. Who cares about the bottom line?
Consider the fact that Hollywood didn’t pounce on the insanely successful The Passion of the Christ and a faith-based audience ripe for entertainment for nearly a decade. Or that we’re not seeing more heroic tales of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan greenlit despite the fact that Lone Survivor made a cool $125 million last year.
Perhaps the clearest example of this is the crush of anti-war films during the presidency of George W. Bush. Hollywood trotted out Lions for Lambs, Stop-Loss, Grace Is Gone, In the Valley of Elah, Rendition and Redacted.
Flop, flop, flop, flop, flop … and mega-flop.
Now, Hollywood is prepping another film likely to cover similar terrain.
Blackwater is the true story of the rise of Erik Prince’s privatized military company Blackwater Worldwide, which became a controversial yet key player in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four former guards from the security firm are facing trial in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 18 others in bloodshed in Baghdad that inflamed anti-American sentiment around the globe in 2007. The contractors were working for the State Department and Blackwater claimed the deadly force was necessary.
Put on your movie producer hat. Would you roll the dice on this project?