Why Brad Pitt and George Clooney Accepted a Lower Salary for Upcoming Movie

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An upcoming film starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt triggered an intense bidding war that was ultimately won out by Apple Studios. But before the Ocean's Eleven stars agreed to sign on, they volunteered to take a lower salary under one condition.

Clooney opened up about the caveat in an interview with Deadline, telling the outlet that it was intriguing to watch how much interest was generated by the untitled film that will be written and directed by Spider Man: No Way Home filmmaker Jon Watts.

"Yeah. Brad and I. It was an exciting time because it got to be one of those weird bidding wars which happen every once in a while," Clooney told Deadline, "and it ended up being pretty extreme, and Apple came in with a really big number for Brad and I, and we said we’d like to take less as long as we can guarantee that we can have a theatrical release, and they said great."

According to Deadline, as many as 10 studios were in the bidding war for the film which, according to the outlet, is a thriller that will follow two lone-wolf fixers assigned to the same job.

Clooney, whose The Tender Bar had a limited theatrical release before streaming to monumental success on Amazon Prime, said there's a world in which the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple can co-exist, largely in part because the streaming giants are filling a void in Hollywood.

"It’s really interesting, and you know, it’s a fascinating thing because, you know, about 20 years ago or something, I started looking at different kinds of films that I wanted to do, and Steven Soderbergh and I really pushed Alan Horn to create Warner Independent," Clooney said. "It ran for a while. We needed a place that we could go to make small adult films [like] Michael Clayton, Up in the Air. It was hard to get those kinds of films made, but there were a couple small independent houses that you could get these things done."

"Streamers have sort of taken over that," he continued. "And so, the good news is there’s still a way to get these kind of films made, and the other part of the good news is that Amazon and Netflix, who we’ve also worked with, are also more than willing to have them be released in theaters, so that you can co-exist. I think that’s a pretty exciting prospect because films like mine, films like The Tender Bar aren’t going to open on three thousand screens. Not designed to do that."

And, speaking of co-existing, Clooney points to Ticket to Paradise, the rom-com he's currently working on with his Ocean's co-star and longtime palJulia Roberts.

"There’s a lot of movies that are fun to still see on a big screen," Clooney said. "You know, the film I’m doing with Julia (Roberts) right now is a Universal film, and it’s a comedy, and comedies are fun to see in a room full of people."

The film, Clooney says, is about 90 percent done but production shut down in Australia due to rising COVID cases. He'll return to complete the film in a couple of weeks.

Clooney revealed that when he first got the Ticket to Paradise script, one of the first calls he made was to Roberts.

"The minute I read [the script] I called Julia, and I said, 'Did you get this?’" Clooney said, "and she said, 'Yeah,' and I said, ‘Are you going to do it?’ and she goes, ‘Are you going to do it? and I said, ‘Yeah, if you do it.’ So, it was just one of those very lucky things."

And it sounds like Clooney is happy that Roberts signed on to the film.

"It's going great, man," he said. "We're having the time of our lives. Julia is just fantastic in it ... It's just a really fun, fun, fun cast all the way around. We're having a great time."


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