Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hyatt Hotels Heir Dan Pritzker Will Never Finish His $100 Mil Plus Jazz Movie


It’s that time of the year again. Last May and the one before I wrote about Hyatt Hotels heir Dan Pritzker and long, long stalled jazz movie called “Bolden!” Pritzker started making the movie 7 years ago, has spent well over $100 million. I told you a year ago that Pritzker was planning to re-shoot most of the movie, about obscure jazz musician Buddy Bolden. That’s because actor Anthony Mackie wouldn’t come back to do more work on “Bolden!” even though he was the star of the movie.

Now Deadline’s Mike Fleming says that Pritzker has replaced Mackie with someone as obscure as Buddy Bolden: Gary Carr, who played the jazz singer last season on “Downton Abbey.” Ha ha. Good luck. Pritzker is never going to finish this movie. Carr is not able to sustain a three hour film about someone no one’s ever heard of, either. He’s considerably less well known than Anthony Mackie. It’s all sad and hilarious.

Of course Pritzker can afford to play with this thing like a cat with a toy until Kingdom come. But for the people who worked on “Bolden!” it’s too bad. Everyone involved with this ridiculous pipedream wrote it off a long time ago.

Pritzker did produce a 70 minute black and white film about Louis Armstrong with actor Jackie Earle Haley. It played in a few places with live music from Wynton Marsalis. For a while “Louis” had a website and was available on YouTube. But all that remains of it is a two minute teaser. The website is gone.

A movie no one wants to see, which costs hundreds of millions of dollars, released a decade after it was started. Wait? Is this “Citizen Kane”? Crazy story. Not a word of it is to be believed anymore.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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