If you haven't followed it, Peter Jackson's fight with New Line has now escalted to the point where studio head Bob Shaye says that Jackson, who was responsible for the biggest success in New Line's history, is no longer welcome at the studio: "[T]he answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working for the company."
The genesis of this fight is a lawsuit Jackson and his wife have launched against the studio seeking to gain access to the company's finances (see Jackson's explanation here). The nub seems to be that Jackson and Walsh think New Line is cheating them out of some revenue still due to them.
That may be true. Heck, the way studio accounting works, it probably is true. But it says something deeply unflattering about Jackson that he isn't content with what he has and able to write off whatever theoretical moneys he's missing out on as the cost of doing business.
Let's not forget that until Mike DeLuca (the former head of New Line), plucked Jackson out of obscurity and gave Jackson the LoTR project, he was a small-time, fledgling genre director. If you look at >Jackson's track record, he had four features under his belt, the biggest of which grossed $16.7M. (Only one other of Jackson's movies topped the $1M mark.)
Yet DeLuca and New Line bet the company on Jackson, giving him an initial budget approaching a quarter of a billion dollars. (The actual budget increased as post-production costs increased and the FoTR performed well at the box office.) By all accounts, Jackson was given near total freedom from and support by New Line, he won himself a basket of Oscars, and pocketed, when all was said and done, somewhere in the neighborhood of $250M for himself.
If New Line is cheating him out of another $8M in DVD revenue--heck, if they're cheating him out of $80M--Jackson should be grateful to the company for making his career, supporting his artistic vision, and changing everything about his life.
Going nuclear over a few extra dollars here and there after he already has his "fuck-you" money, suggests that Jackson has gone Hollywood in the worst possible way.
But after seeing King Kong, maybe we already knew that.
1 hour ago