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Of Vice And Mann

Adding to the near-biblical woes that have beset Michael Mann’s film adaptation of Miami Vice comes a new chapter: Exodus. According to sources on the set of the scandal-plagued Jamie Foxx/Colin Farrell vehicle, crew members have been quitting in record numbers—thanks, in part, to the director’s imperious ways.

We’re told that since filming began in June, over 120 crew members have jumped ship, exhausted by Mann’s famously obsessive demands, ceaseless revisions, and 24/7 schedule. One production assistant says that resignations are now being turned in on an almost daily basis, with employees typically citing illness or dying relatives. Few members of the original crew remain, the source says.

With three hurricanes wreaking havoc on their filming schedule, a gunfight erupting outside a set in the Dominican Republic, and reports of reckless carousing and infighting amongst the film’s stars, it’s no wonder that morale on the production has sagged lower than Farrell’s beer boobs. But Mann, far from pulling his team together, has driven them further apart with his insistently aloof behavior, we hear. Sources say the notoriously eccentric director is always surrounded by a coterie of assistants who disseminate his every word in lieu of Mann speaking directly with his staff.

And it’s not just the key grips who are feeling mutinous. We’re told Universal execs, watching the disaster unfold from Hollywood, are infuriated by the movie’s ballooning budget and lagging schedule. The movie, greenlighted at an already obscene $120 million and set to wrap in September, has nearly doubled in costs and is still lensing in Paraguay and Miami—with no end in sight, we hear.

A spokesman for the studio pleaded ignorance of the droves of fleeing crew members—“That’s something I’ll have to find out for you,” he said—but conceded that the filming wasn’t “for the weak of spirit or the weak of heart, that’s for sure.” Mann, on the other hand, “has been very present on that set and very communicative,” he said, adding that communicating with crew via memo was “par for the course for any production of any size.” As for the film’s budget, the rep acknowledged that it had “increased to accommodate the challenges that they’ve had to face,” but denied that the price tag had approached the $200 million mark. The rep insisted that the movie was merely “a week and a day” behind schedule. “They’ll be fully wrapped by the first week of December,” he said.

‘07 or ‘08?

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