When the early box office reports began rolling in, the prognosis for Joe Wright’s Pan was worrying at best. As a star-studded CG-laden romp, Warner Bros.’ fairytale flop could result in a financial loss of $150 million, though the ramifications of its failure could extend even further if The Wrap is to be believed.
According to the outlet, Wright has now been removed from Lionsgate’s Julius Caesar blockbuster Emperor as a direct result of Pan‘s poor box office returns, though it’s worth noting that the filmmaker’s representative deem this report to be “categorically untrue.” Indeed, the fact that Wright was never openly confirmed as the director of the period piece – he was merely in contention at one point – begs the question whether he was involved in the pre-production at all, though it seems safe to assume that he will not helm the project after all.
On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that the experience of working under Warner Bros. for Pan, dancing around the studio’s filmmaking-by-committee approach, led Wright to distance himself from the Emperor gig, considering that the two share blockbuster traits. Without any official word from the man himself at this stage, it’s best to consider this conjecture, but it’ll be interesting to assess how the situation unfolds now that Lionsgate is essentially taking the Roman epic “back to the drawing board.”
It’s disheartening, really, particularly when you consider Wright’s résumé – Atonement, Hanna, and Pride and Prejudice – that a high-profile misfire could tarnish that record, but we’ll keep an eye on this one as it, er, pans out.
No deal had been in place between Wright and Lionsgate for Emperor, but did Pan‘s dismal box office turn really scupper any potential partnership between the two parties?