Has Denzel Washington gotten sick of riding the Tony Scott merry-go-round? Washington was signed on to star in the upcoming action thriller Unstoppable, but according to Variety that train will never leave the station. Sources are stating that the actor officially withdrew himself from the film after waiting three months for the go ahead from 20th Century Fox. The studio is financing the film, but has been taking their sweet time to come up with a finalized budget.
Many things factored in to Fox’s reservations regarding Unstoppable’s budget. The first thing being the poor box office reception that the previous Washington- Scott film, The Taking of Pelham 123 produced. In an attempt to avoid another disappointment the studio has been cutting costs left and right. Apparently they asked Washington to shave 4 million dollars off of his 20 million price tag and he declined. They also asked Scott to reduce his 9 million directors fee to 6 million, as well as other various price cuts. Their overall goal is to bring the film’s budget down from the initial 107 million to the low 90 million dollar range.
Washington was set to star as a veteran train conductor opposite Chris Pine as his young replacement. The two men would be forced to work together in an attempt to stop a run away train filled with chemical cargo. It’s not like we haven’t seen this plot before, so it’s not as if Washington walked away from anything special. It sucks for Pine to have lost such a talented co-star to work with so early in his career, but I’m sure they’ll find a replacement. Fox hasn’t given up on the film, and are still trying to make it work. I personally think Washington made the right choice. I don’t know how many more Tony Scott films I can watch with him at the center playing the same character, he’s so much better than that.
Do you think Washington made the right choice by leaving Unstoppable?