OVERLY AM­BI­TIOUS

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CULTURE -

Late Novem­ber saw Rules Don’t Ap­ply, War­ren Beatty’s first film in fif­teen years, bomb at the US box of­fice, mak­ing just a mil­lion dol­lars from over 2,000 screens and rank­ing as one of the worst Thanks­giv­ing week­end de­buts in film his­tory.

Un­for­tu­nately for Beatty, who also wrote and di­rected the film, it’s not the first time his name has been so in­ti­mately in­volved in box of­fice dis­as­ter. The ro­man­tic com­edy, which stars Lily Collins and fu­ture Han Solo Alden Ehren­re­ich as young Hol­ly­wood lovers kept apart by the med­dling of Beatty’s Howard Hughes, has been in de­vel­op­ment since 1973, when Beatty first be­gan plot­ting a Hughes biopic.

It was a long, tor­tur­ous jour­ney, full of half-starts, re­vised scripts and de­vel­op­ment trou­bles. But, once again, this wasn’t some­thing new for Beatty. Peek into his back cat­a­logue and you will find a check­ered his­tory of bloated epics, be­hind-thescenes chaos and, ul­ti­mately, empty cinema seats.

So how did the one-time Hol­ly­wood sure-thing, an iconic lothario and act­ing leg­end, be­come so syn­ony­mous with a very par­tic­u­lar brand of ex­pen­sive bombs? The an­swer seems to lie in four specif­i­cally dis­as­trous movies. Ishtar; Dick­Tracy; RulesDon’tAp­ply. LoveAf­fair.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

War­ren Beatty (right) as Howard Hughes in

along­side Glenne Headley in along­side his real-life wife An­nette Ben­ing in

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

From left: War­ren Beatty, Is­abelle Ad­jani and Dustin Hoff­man in

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