"When I was researching Syriana," he reports, "I met heads of oil companies--very powerful men, multibillionaires--and they all said the same thing to me. They said, 'Your movie will never be made. We bank with the same bankers as Time-Warner. We're bigger clients. And your movie will never be made.'"
The happy ending here, of course, is that Syriana was made. But Gaghan, as he's fond of pointing out, isn't one for happy endings as the world burns, and neither am I.
What makes him think they'll listen? Reverend Billy and the unconverted in 'Preacher with an Unknown God'
"I just thought, Well, this is bombast or whatever--these [oil] guys all have these huge egos and it's just talk. But I can tell you how [censorship] does happen, actually; I know it firsthand. Four times a year, Alan Horn has to go to New York and meet [Time-Warner CEO] Dick Parsons--he has to try to get [Parsons] excited about the movies he's making. 'Have you heard about this, Dick? It's gonna be a great film.' And Parsons just goes, 'Eight percent growth, Alan. Eight percent growth.'"