Warner Brothers “Suicide” CEO takes his lumps from a former underling

Warner_bros_logo-4The art of the “Karma’s a bitch, bro” letter has seemed a lost one, and this “FU” kiss-off from Gracie Law  to Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara is notable only for its rarity.

She was laid off during the bloodletting of 2014, when the studio’s release slate was lame, though perhaps not the debacle it has sometimes seemed this year.

Law is no longer employed there, the stakes for her are low and Tsujihara is primed for a piling on. “Suicide Squad” is dying, and Law claims that “Wonder Woman” is a debacle in the making. That’s why this open letter is trending, the DC disasters of the recent past and the near future.

There are a lot of fiasco films in her list — “Jupiter Ascending,” “Jersey Boys,” “Pan,” “Point Break.”

“People lost their jobs and you decided Pan was a good idea.” My favorite line from the note.

The studio has traditionally tied its fate to reliable filmmakers, but the Wachowskis and Eastwood are well past their due date. And poor Zach Snyder is never going to be the New Spielberg. Ever. Giving him that much of the DC Comics franchise is a mistake, pure and simple.

But Warners’ reputation for working with talent, attracting talent and keeping the brilliant on the studio’s roster is still there. So there’s nothing happening that a blockbuster “Sully” or revived “Justice League” or “Wonder Woman” couldn’t gloss over.

The point of Law’s letter is that a lot of good people got sacked because the braintrust in charge is relying on a formula that only works when you have great talents to lean on. David Ayer (“Suicide Squad”) is not Kubrick. Who is? Eastwood isn’t even Eastwood any more, no matter what “American Sniper” earned.

kevin.jpgWill the feeding frenzy take out Tsujihara? I could see that. But these recent flops or near misses don’t change the fact that Warners is the class of the league. Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm may be eating their lunch, at the moment. But culture will tell, and eventually the best and brightest will be lured to WB, because most of them already go to Warners first with their big ideas. If that is no longer the case, Tsujihara should go, and he ought to be the first to realize it.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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