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Joe Eszterhas

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 1990 | NINA J. EASTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Just nine months ago, some Hollywood insiders were predicting the career demise of rogue screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. But for a few brief hours last Friday, Eszterhas emerged as the hottest personality in town. After an intense bidding war among at least 10 major and independent studios, Eszterhas sold his latest screenplay, "Basic Instinct," to Carolco Pictures for $3 million--setting a record for so-called "spec" movie scripts.
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BOOKS
December 17, 2006 | Steve Ryfle, Steve Ryfle is a contributing editor to Creative Screenwriting magazine and the author of "Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla."
FIFTEEN years ago, Joe Eszterhas was arguably the biggest screenwriter in the world. He feasted on Hollywood largesse, earning seven-figure paydays for a string of box-office hits that grossed, he brags, a cumulative $1 billion. He partied with the entertainment world's elite, and his ego and his reputation were both so bloated that he could publicly fire super-agent Mike Ovitz and still eat lunch in this town again.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 1996 | CLAUDIA PUIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On a movie set in an industrial corner of downtown Los Angeles, actor Eric Idle, playing a disillusioned director, plots aloud to burn his latest film after it has been butchered by studio honchos and producers. "I don't want the world to have to see another appalling film, for God's sake," a distraught Idle tells a pair of director brothers, fellow film aficionados. "If we believe in film--and we do--don't we have a responsibility to protect the world from bad ones?"
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2006 | Jay A. Fernandez, Special to The Times
Scriptland is a new weekly feature on the work and professional lives of screenwriters. * There are few bets with longer odds than making a living as a screenwriter. And then there's Allan Loeb. A compulsive gambler since age 10, he's currently riding one of the hottest streaks in Hollywood -- screenwriting's equivalent of the "It Boy."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1995 | DAVID KRONKE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A film script reportedly described by Hollywood's elite as "a masterpiece," "Oscar-caliber" and, simply, "the best," has nonetheless failed to find a studio executive willing to fork out any money for it. The film, reportedly, isn't "commercial" enough. "Blaze of Glory," by highly successful and often controversial screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, is the first script he has written on spec that he has not been able to sell since 1983.
BOOKS
December 17, 2006 | Steve Ryfle, Steve Ryfle is a contributing editor to Creative Screenwriting magazine and the author of "Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla."
FIFTEEN years ago, Joe Eszterhas was arguably the biggest screenwriter in the world. He feasted on Hollywood largesse, earning seven-figure paydays for a string of box-office hits that grossed, he brags, a cumulative $1 billion. He partied with the entertainment world's elite, and his ego and his reputation were both so bloated that he could publicly fire super-agent Mike Ovitz and still eat lunch in this town again.
BOOKS
July 23, 2000 | LYNDA OBST, Lynda Obst, a producer at Paramount Pictures, is the author of "Hello, He Lied: And Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches."
I kept asking myself as I muscled through Joe Eszterhas' speedy ruminations on our national id in "American Rhapsody" what on God's green Earth is this thing? Is this Old New Journalism? New Old Journalism? No journalism at all, but instead a tabloid clip job? Once a proud bearer of the Rolling Stone banner of countercultural credibility, Eszterhas, now primarily known as the one-time most highly remunerated writer in Hollywood, has written something entirely other. Is this a book?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 1989 | NINA J. EASTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
One week after a screenwriter's allegations against Creative Artists Agency President Michael Ovitz surfaced in the press, the Writers Guild of America, West has issued a cautiously worded statement saying that it "views with grave concern threats of interference with a writer's career opportunities from any quarter, including agents and/or employees."
BUSINESS
February 3, 1995 | CLAUDIA ELLER, TIMES MOVIE EDITOR
Hollywood's multimillion-dollar scribe Joe Eszterhas has done it again. The screenwriter of the hit 1992 erotic thriller "Basic Instinct" and MGM/UA's controversial upcoming release "Showgirls" sold an original movie pitch to Paramount Pictures that could potentially yield him nearly $4 million, sources say.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 31, 1995 | Robert W. Welkos, Robert W. Welkos is a Times staff writer
In Bosnia, the issue was not that people were going to too many violent movies. This was not a factor. --Sean Daniel, producer * It was a year when the arts braced for a Newt-ron bomb and Hollywood got hit with blasts of cold air from Kansas Sen. Bob Dole . . . but the real taste-makers remained, as always, the ticket-buying public. It was a year when Time-Warner sold off a profitable recording label, Interscope Records, because of a flap over gangsta rap lyrics . . .
OPINION
February 15, 2004 | Joe Eszterhas
To: Michael Eisner Re: The art of war When I was a young screenwriter and you were the head of Paramount, you told me that you'd always wanted to be a writer, that you'd even lived in a smelly garret in Paris writing plays -- one of which, I will never forget, was called "To Metastasize a River." The script I was then writing, it seems obvious to me now, launched both of our careers.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2004
It is no secret that publicists and newspaper editors enjoy a symbiotic relationship. But I have never before seen anything to rival the free full-page virtual advertisement given to the recently published "Hollywood Animal" by Joe Eszterhas ("Ego, Cash and Fate," Feb. 1). To present excerpts of this book, not yet even covered by your paper's reviewers, in the guise of a feature article, absent any journalistic voice, any critical point of view, represents a new low in celebrity pandering and a disservice to your readers.
BOOKS
February 8, 2004 | Richard Schickel, Richard Schickel is a contributing writer to Book Review and reviews movies for Time magazine.
Joe ESZTERHAS writes in short, punchy paragraphs. Like this one. He wants us to know, at the outset, that the movies he wrote -- among them "Flashdance," "Jagged Edge" and "Basic Instinct" -- altogether grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide. He wants us to know that he was paid $4.7 million for a script and that other sales approached that figure. He wants us to know that, by and large, they were done his way -- without the studio or the director imposing a lot of changes on his work.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2004 | Joe Eszterhas
In the year 2000, I was 56 years old, a Hollywood screenwriter, the author of 15 movies. Some of them ("Basic Instinct," "Jagged Edge," "Flashdance") were some of the biggest box-office hits of our time. Some ("Showgirls," "Jade," "Sliver") were some of the biggest critical disasters in recent memory. Some were pretty good: "Music Box," "F.I.S.T.," "Telling Lies in America," "Betrayed." Some were movies that I loved but few others did: "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn," "Big Shots."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2003 | From Associated Press
"Basic Instinct" screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who lost part of his larynx to cancer, wrote and stars in new anti-smoking announcements for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The clinic hopes the three announcements will air in movie theaters and on TV stations nationwide as part of a new program, "Join Joe," that aims to help people quit using tobacco. "I'm hoping that my cancer and my voice will neutralize the pro-smoking message in the movies," Eszterhas said.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2000
Joe Eszterhas, contrary to Robert W. Welkos' profile ("Eszterhas Starts a New Chapter," July 18), did not groove in the '60s "to music like Stevie Wonder's 'Fingerprints.' " He likely did groove to music like Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Pt. 2." ROBERT BOOKMAN Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2000 | AMY WALLACE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Alan Smithee, the mysterious but prolific director whose 30-year career has been marked by controversy, is failing and may never work again. His problem isn't illness or old age, some say, but screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. Smithee is the pseudonym slapped on a film when a director demands that his own name be removed from the credits.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2000
Joe Eszterhas, contrary to Robert W. Welkos' profile ("Eszterhas Starts a New Chapter," July 18), did not groove in the '60s "to music like Stevie Wonder's 'Fingerprints.' " He likely did groove to music like Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Pt. 2." ROBERT BOOKMAN Los Angeles
BOOKS
July 23, 2000 | LYNDA OBST, Lynda Obst, a producer at Paramount Pictures, is the author of "Hello, He Lied: And Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches."
I kept asking myself as I muscled through Joe Eszterhas' speedy ruminations on our national id in "American Rhapsody" what on God's green Earth is this thing? Is this Old New Journalism? New Old Journalism? No journalism at all, but instead a tabloid clip job? Once a proud bearer of the Rolling Stone banner of countercultural credibility, Eszterhas, now primarily known as the one-time most highly remunerated writer in Hollywood, has written something entirely other. Is this a book?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2000 | ROBERT W. WELKOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For more than two years, no one in Hollywood really knew what had become of Joe Eszterhas. With his trademark biker look--the shoulder-length hair and Grizzly Adams beard--he had risen in the decade between 1985 and 1995 to become Hollywood's hottest screenwriter with his recurring themes of eroticized violence evident in such steamy thrillers as "Jagged Edge," "Basic Instinct," "Sliver" and "Jade."
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