Clint Eastwood’s Movie Slammed As A Waste Of Resources

A certain studio executive is reportedly furious with Clint Eastwood's latest movie, but not because he thinks it's bad.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Clint Eastwood

There are few figures in modern pop culture as legendary as Clint Eastwood. His body of work stretches across film, television, and music. His name is shorthand for being tough and intimidating. He has won multiple Academy Awards both in front of and behind the camera and legalized ice cream for a California community. He made multiple movies in which he co-starred with an orangutang, and those movies made a whole bunch of money. However, Clint Eastwood’s most recent (and perhaps final) film Cry Macho did not make money at all, and new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is apparently pretty upset about it. 

Per The Wall Street Journal, one of David Zaslav’s first orders of business upon assuming his leadership role in the new company formed by the merger of Discovery, Inc with WarnerMedia was to get a bunch of his movie studio executives together and ask why they made movies (like Clint Eastwood’s elegiac meditation on age and violence) that did not make obscene amounts of money. While it could be argued it would have been more cost effective for that meeting to be an email, it reportedly did allow Warner Bros executives to let Zaslav know that Cry Macho had been greenlit due in part to a feeling of loyalty to Clint Eastwood after literal decades of commercial hits and critical acclaim. 

Allegedly, David Zaslav responded to Warner Bros’ loyalty to Clint Eastwood, one of its greatest living artists, by quoting the 1996 Cameron Crowe film Jerry Maguire (which, to be fair, did make a lot of money). Specifically, Zaslav apparently said, “​​It’s not show friends, it’s show business.” There is no word whether he then followed up by shouting “show me the money” at the assembled movie executives. 

Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho was not his most critically well-received film; it currently holds a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and we ourselves described it as “messy.” It also flopped at the box office, earning less than half of its $33 million gross. It certainly was not Clint Eastwood’s most successful film, and it seems that David Zaslav has come into Warner Bros. Discovery hot and ready to trim any kind of wasteful spending, like on art. 

While this particular film might not be one of Clint Eastwood’s most esteemed works, it cannot be denied that as a filmmaker, he creates films that are trying to make a statement about the world. The function of cinema as art, or even the function of art within the world, can certainly be debated. However, it seems it is not a good idea to debate that with David Zaslav, who immediately began his role within the new company by canceling multiple projects. He also reportedly determined to increase the number of projects produced by the film studio arm of Warner Bros Discovery while decreasing their expenditures, which surely will not have any effect on the quality of films being produced as part of a cost-profit ratio. If Clint Eastwood is going to make another film, he may have to look for a film studio that is actually interested in making films.