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Jon Peters
Born June 2, 1945 (1945-06-02) (age 64)
Van Nuys, California

Jon Peters (born John H. Peters; June 2, 1945)[1] is an American movie producer.

Contents

Life and career

Peters was born John H. Peters[1] in Van Nuys, California, the son of Helen (née Pagano), a receptionist, and Jack Peters, a cook.[2] He is of Cherokee and Italian descent.[3] Peters went into the family hair styling business and was successful on Rodeo Drive in Hollywood where he made many industry connections. Peters first gained national prominence when he began dating superstar singer and actress Barbra Streisand after designing the short wig Barbra wore for the 1974 comedy For Pete's Sake. He then produced Streisand's 1974 Butterfly album, which interestingly, Barbra says she doesn't even remember making. In 1976 he was given a controversial producing credit on Streisand's remake of A Star Is Born[citation needed], which went on to become a bonafide blockbuster. He worked with Peter Guber for the next ten years. Their hits included The Color Purple and Flashdance, and the original remake of Batman, and Rain Man. He headed Sony Pictures with Guber for two years until Guber fired him. The pair were the subject of the book Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters.[4]

Criticism

While Peters is credited with modernizing Streisand's image, he was also widely known as Barbra's svengali, riding on her coattails throughout their entire 10+ year relationship. Both he and Barbra spoke in detail about the criticism in 1976 on The Barbara Walters Special.

Legal actions

In November, 2008, Peters was sued for sexual harassment by his Superman: Man of Steel co-producer Brian Quintana.[5]

In December 2008, Peters sued his past President and General Counsel, Ronald Wayne Grigg. Peters accused Grigg of a campaign of deceit that included hiring an assistant with the company's money, stealing his computers, and drugging and raping two women on Peters' property.[6]

Book Deal

Nikke Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog reported on a book proposal for the autobiography of Jon Peters, written by him and Los Angeles writer William Stadiem.[7] Peter reportedly wrote in lurid detail about his life with Streisand and string of other lovers including Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Nicolette Sheridan, Sharon Stone, Salma Hayek and Catherine Zeta-Jones, among many other celebrities. Peters became a Hollywood legend for seduction as much as production. He subsequently withdrew from the Harper Collins book deal after adverse publicity triggered by the leaking of the proposal and potential lawsuits.[8]

Peters and Superman

In his Q&A/comedy DVD, An Evening With Kevin Smith, writer/director Kevin Smith relates an anecdote about working with Peters when he was hired to write a script for a new Superman movie, then called Superman Reborn, and would later be renamed Superman Lives.[9] According to Smith, before being hired to draft a screenplay he had to meet with Peters, the project's producer. During this meeting, Peters expressed disdain for most of Superman's iconic characteristics by demanding that Superman was never to fly or appear in his trademark costume, which he considered "too faggy." He also suggested Sean Penn as being ideal for the role, based on his performance as a violent death row inmate in Dead Man Walking saying that Penn had the eyes of a "caged animal, a fucking killer," even though Superman is known for refusing to ever kill. Peters then demanded that if Smith were to write a script, the third act of the film would have to include Superman fighting a giant spider, to be unveiled in an homage to King Kong.

Smith says he met with Peters again after finishing an 80-page outline, which Peters asked him to read aloud in its entirety. Peters then instructed him to include a robot sidekick for Brainiac (who would speak with a stereotypical homosexual lisp), a fight scene between Brainiac and two polar bears, and a marketable "space dog" pet for Lex Luthor, similar to Star Wars character Chewbacca. While Smith, against his own judgment, acquiesced to Peters' demands and inserted them into his script, the project eventually fell through and the script was discarded entirely.

In Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, Jon Peters admitted that the Superman franchise was problematic for him: "The elements that I was focusing on were away from the heart, it was more leaning towards Star Wars in a sense, you know. I didn't realize the human part of it, I didn't have that." He subsequently served as Executive Producer for Superman Returns, the 2006 movie directed by Bryan Singer.

Peters and The Sandman

Jon Peters involvement in producing the adaptation of the Sandman comics for Warner Brothers met with controversy. One draft script commissioned by Peters was reviewed on the Internet at Ain't It Cool News[10], and was met with scorn. Sandman creator Neil Gaiman called the last screenplay that Warner Brothers would send him "...not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read."[11] By 2001, the project had become stranded in development hell.

In a 2005 interview, Gaiman summarized the Peters approach as follows: "But Sandman movies, they just got increasingly appalling. It was really strange. They started out hiring some really good people and you got Elliott and Rossio and Roger Avary came in and did a draft. They were all solid scripts. And then Jon Peters fired all of them and got in some people who take orders, and who wanted fistfights and all this stuff. It had no sensibility and it was just...they were horrible."[12]

Selected filmography as producer and executive producer

Further reading

  • Griffin, Nancy; Masters, Kim (1996). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony For a Ride in Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80931-1. 

References

  1. ^ a b According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  2. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/59/Jon-Peters.html
  3. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/22/magazine/the-producers.html?pagewanted=5
  4. ^ Nancy Griffin; Kim Masters (1997). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony For A Ride In Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80931-1
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Famous Producer Alleges Fraud, Theft, Date-Rape TMZ.com, December 24, 2008
  7. ^ IT SHOULD BE CALLED 'DICKHEAD': Why Jon Peters' Book Proposal Sets New Low
  8. ^ PETERS PULLS PLUG ON TELL-ALL
  9. ^ Kevin Smith talks about Superman
  10. ^ Moriarty takes a look at what Jon Peters has done with Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN property!!! - Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news
  11. ^ Comics2Film: Sandman
  12. ^ Interview: Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon - TIME Magazine, 2005

External links








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