Scarlett Johansson’s directorial debut deemed “unwatchable”

nobel peace 121108

I try to like Scarlett Johansson. I try hard. She seems classy in a way most actresses her age aren’t, and I appreciated that she wasn’t stick thin (until recently). Plus, she’s married to Ryan Reynolds, and at the risk of being overtly superficial, any woman who gets to go home to that has my respect.

Nonetheless, there have been a lot of stories of self-important and diva-ish behavior, so it’s a little hard not to snicker when hearing that Johansson’s first directorial attempt was so bad that it had to be cut altogether.

SCARLETT Johansson’s dream of being a director was dashed on her first try.

Johansson — who’s said in the past she’d prefer to direct rather than act — helmed a segment for the upcoming movie “New York, I Love You,” a series of intertwined love stories shot by several auteurs, including Brett Ratner and Natalie Portman.

But unfortunately for Johansson, her segment, starring Kevin Bacon and shot in black and white, was deemed “unwatchable,” sources said.

“It was really bad, so it was cut,” one insider told Page Six. Andrei Zvyagintsev’s segment starring Carla Gugino and Goran Visnjic was also cut from the final edit.

[From Page Six]

The film’s producer tried to quell any potential negative press by doing his best to put a positive spin on Scarlett’s piece. And to his credit, you can tell he’s really trying. While dancing around the aforementioned badness.

But the film’s producer, Emmanuel Benbihy, told us Johansson’s bit ended up in the scrapheap not because it was bad, but because “the story did not specifically involve an interpersonal relationship, and it was conceptualized to be filmed in black and white — both of which were extreme departures from the other films.”

Benbihy added, “Scarlett presented me with an extremely compelling, albeit unconventional, narrative that appeared as though it would not necessarily conform to the overall approach of the entire collective . . . However, I was very much moved by her vision and I did not want to pass on the opportunity to help her develop it. All that matters to me is the genuine movie language of the author.”

He continued: “Scarlett and I nonetheless agreed that a final determination of its appropriateness in the context of the other contributions and the overall story would be best made in the editorial process. And after months of editing . . . I had to admit that there were editorial decisions to be made in the interest of serving the overall narrative and composition that resulted in previously filmed scenes and footage not getting used.”

[From Page Six]

It sounds as though he’s focusing on the fact that Scarlett didn’t follow directions. Though something tells me if she’d strayed a bit but the final product was still great, Benbihy would have included it. The comment about “after months of editing…” makes it sound like Johansson’s film segment got more difficult and he just couldn’t make it work. It is being included on the DVD version of the film.

Johansson got fairly poor reviews for her CD, a collection of Tom Waits covers. She does bring her own vision to things, and I’ve got to give her credit for that. And certainly part of being creative and an artist is experimenting and finding that balance between what you like and what everyone else likes. It doesn’t mean Johansson doesn’t have a future as a director. But perhaps working on collaborative films isn’t her thing.

Here’s Scarlett with Sir Michael Caine at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo on December 11th. Images thanks to .
nobel peace 121108

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

16 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson’s directorial debut deemed “unwatchable””

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Trillion says:

    Magic boobs open doors.

  2. Jen says:

    Why waste your time trying to like her? I don’t get her draw, she’s not a good actress, she’s not strikingly beautiful, and has now failed at singing and directing. There are too many talented people waiting in the wings to get their break, she needs to get out of the way so someone else can have their chance.

  3. Karen says:

    Some of these actors should just act. They all want to either sing, be in a rock band, or direct – instead of doing what they became famous for.

  4. JJJ says:

    HA!! get over yourself SCARjo !!!!! this made my day!

  5. lilly says:

    She is so full of herself she probably totally bought Emmanuel Benbihy BS.

  6. kiki says:

    90% of where she is , is because of her looks working with Woody Allen mustve given her the idea she could direct..
    my opinion is actresses like her and Jessica Biel get work because they dont cause trouble they show up to work on time arent falling out of bars drunk or have dui’s or rehab in their past. of course of they spend HALF the time in acting school or flim history and production classes as they do working out..

  7. Kayleigh says:

    I just imagine her with a baseball cap on that says “Director” on it and wearing a red carpet dress, with that big cone thing to scream at people. If that doesn’t say how I feel about her directing/singing/doing anything other than acting, well, then I don’t know what would.

  8. BigFish says:

    We all know that actor’s ego’s run away with them. She has tried and maybe failed. This is a positive for me,as I love to watch her.For those who say she is not a breathless beauty, keep going to see Juliea Roberts and the other horse and foul mouth actresses. I love the, “shes not beautiful,” opinions, ask men; most of them would eat her used tolit paper. As for me I’ll watch her and dream I’m Ryan.

  9. nola says:

    PAGE SIX that says it all…

  10. Persistent Cat says:

    I think she’s very pretty but I don’t think she’s that great an actress. She usually just plays pouty and spoiled.

    Remember when Lost in Translation came out and it was winning awards left and right and Sofia Coppolla and Bill Murray were constantly going on an on about how great each other was. They never mentioned Scarlett. Ever. That gave me the impression she wasn’t that much fun to work with.

    @BigFish: Used toilet paper? That’s just disgusting. I don’t think you’d find a lot of men willing to do that for any woman.

  11. RobN says:

    Love the way Michael Caine is staring at her boobs in that first picture. She’s a pretentiousl little twit who works because people don’t notice her horse face because, like Michael, they’re too busy staring at the boobs.

  12. Wench. says:

    Yay! I can’t wait for that – ‘Paris, Je’taime’ was a right little gem.

  13. Cinderella says:

    I almost forgot she’s married to Ryan Reynolds. Are they ever together?

  14. lrm says:

    or,maybe she could sing and/or direct when she’s matured a little more-you know,has some experience under her belt? although she seems older,and certainly seemed far older when she first came onto the scene in lost in translation,etc. she IS young. Directing,for the most part,is better suited to maturity. That’s a stereotype-but I do think even great directors have seen their work mature over time. Actors can also develop in this regard,but it’s possible for an actor to be brilliant to start out with. as a general trend….

  15. Annabelle says:

    So much negativity!

    Im not either way about scarlett but give the girl a chance! Lots of people don’t do so well on their first tries… that’s why you have a second try.