A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
As details of ousted Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal's producing deal become clear, the envy factor among other executives soars. In addition to a pact reportedly worth $30 million to $40 million over four years, sources say Pascal, 56, wants the offices that were occupied by her late boss, John Calley, which have been housing The Interview filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Finding new space for them might be a problem because there have been complaints about pot fumes emanating from their offices. Sony, which is said to have reprimanded the duo, declined to comment. Meanwhile, it's clear that Pascal's former boss Michael Lynton has given her a shot at producing Sony's big franchises. She appears to be going two for three:
Sony was at a crossroads with the franchise, so it allowed Marvel Studios to become involved, and Marvel has every incentive to work with Pascal to reinvigorate the character. Owner Disney has a big play in Spidey merchandise, even if it gets only a small producing fee on the movies. Still, Marvel exerts strong control over its material, so it's hard to imagine Pascal will have a lot to say about how the character is portrayed in Avengers movies or even the Sony reboot. Marvel's Kevin Feige and his team likely will find a way to work their will. Pascal might be wise to yield, given their batting average.
Producer Ivan Reitman —who controlled the rights to Ghostbusters along with Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis —had already agreed to step aside as director so Paul Feig could tackle the upcoming version starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, planned for a July 22, 2016, release. As part of that deal Pascal, who greenlighted the reboot while still studio chief, agreed to establish Reitman in a company that will work to exploit the franchise on various platforms, including television and games, which certainly would make it worth Reitman's while to bless the Feig project. Note that Pascal's producing fee or possible share of the film's backend will come out of the pocket of Sony Pictures; Reitman's deal remains unchanged.
Ron Howard is set to direct another Dan Brown book adaptation with Tom Hanks starring, set for an October 2016 release. But sources say Howard sees no reason to invite Pascal to share credit or fees. Some say he has been a bit unhappy with Pascal ever since the directing job on Captain Phillips went to Paul Greengrass. Howard's spokesman declined comment.