Hollywood snubs new Ritchie film

The Gaurdian/March 14, 2005

Guy Ritchie, director of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, is facing difficulties finding a distributor for his latest film. According to the Mail on Sunday, Revolver, which features Lock Stock stalwart Jason Statham, has been turned down by Sony, which backed Snatch.

Ritchie's reputation as a film-maker suffered after the box office disaster of his most recent film, Swept Away, in which he cast his wife, Madonna. It went straight to video in the UK and reportedly lost him £7m. The Mail reports the latest setback is likely to lose him another £5m.

Matthew Vaughn, producer of Lock Stock and Snatch, co-owns Ska Films with Ritchie, but is apparently not involved in Revolver after a disagreement over Madonna's role in Swept Away. Vaughn made his directing debut last year in Layer Cake, another grimy gangster tale which did well in British cinemas.

The newspaper reports that Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel and Mickey Rourke all turned down roles in the film and that the original script had too many references to Kabbalah, the Jewish sect to which Ritchie and Madonna subscribe.

However the newspaper's story relies on a "film insider", who claimed the movie was "not particularly impressive. It was too convoluted and not tight or exciting enough".

Without a distributor, Ritchie could be faced with taking the film onto the festival circuit in an effort to find a deal.

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