How Did This Get Made? Theodore Rex (An Oral History)

(Whoopi Goldberg + Police Dinosaur) x Lots of Lawsuits = How Did This Get Made?!?!

Nobody sets out to make a bad movie. But the truth is, it happens all the time. And every time it does, there's a fun misadventure and cautionary tale lurking somewhere behind the scenes. This is that story for the most expensive movie that ever went straight to video: THEODORE REX.

Synopsis: In a futuristic society where dinosaurs and humans co-exist, a police detective (Whoopi Goldberg) partners up with a Tyrannosaurs Rex to track down a mad scientist bent on creating a new Armageddon.

Taglines: The World's Toughest Cop is Getting a New Partner. He's a Real Blast From the Past. And Don't Even Think of Calling him Barney

With a budget of $35 million, Theodore Rex holds the distinct honor of being the most expensive film ever to be released directly to video. Not to mention the fact that the film made major headlines when Whoopi Goldberg allegedly broke contract to escape from this film, only to be sued and, essentially, forced to do the film against her will. How could so much notoriety come from a movie that began with the noblest of intentions?

Here's what happened, as told by those who made it happen...

This special feature by Blake J Harris has been developed alongside Paul Scheer and the gang at the How Did This Get Made to supplement the podcast. Please check out the companion How Did This Get Made podcast episode here.

Theodore Rex

Featuring:

  • Richard Abramson, Producer
  • Jonathan Betuel, Writer/Director
  • Stefano Ferrari, Producer/Financier
  • Bruce Lanoil, Head Puppeteer
  • Walter Martishius, Production Designer
Producer Richard Abramson, who also used to be Pee-wee's manager/producer (photo credit William E McEuen)

Producer Richard Abramson, who also used to be Pee-wee's manager/producer (photo credit William E McEuen)

Part 1: The Starfighter, The Hustler and the Pharmaceutical Tycoon

Jonathan: After Starfighter, I had written a couple of scripts and then watched what appeared to be "go pictures" turn into development deals with directors that were from another planet. And you just get frustrated when that happens. You wind up in an endless development corral.

Richard: Whether you're a writer, director or producer: if you can actually get something made in Hollywood, it's a great accomplishment. It'll give you a thrill that you've never had before.

Jonathan: I wanted to do something out there, you know? Something completely unexpected. Things were starting to feel, I don't know, a little bit formulaic. And I had just sort of wanted to break the box a bit. I wanted to take something—maybe a familiar point of view, like a buddy cop movie—and shake it up in a way.

Richard: A cop and a dinosaur. It seemed like a good idea. Jonathan: But it's easy on paper, what can I tell you?

Richard: I'm not sure how familiar you are with my background, but what I was known for at the time was Pee-wee Herman. I was his manager and his producer. So I think because of the nature of that movie—not only the movie, but the television series and other stuff—I think for that reason Jonathan got to me.

Jonathan: I met Rich Abramson first through David Snyder, who had been an art director on Blade Runner. He introduced us and Rich really liked the pitch.

Richard: Although I had produced a studio film before [Pee-wee's Big Adventure] and Executive produced another popular film called The Big Picture, I wasn't really a "player" in the business. That's because—without getting too much into the details—I'd had been a contractual dispute with Pee-wee and was no longer his manager. I lost all of my...power, so to speak. And I was disappointed, but I still wanted to make a movie like everyone wants to make a movie.

With Jonathan wanting to make a movie outside the studio system and Richard, seeking redemption, possessing the knowhow, it seemed like a good match. But what they really needed, and they would need a lot of it, was the money to get it done. That's partly why it ended up taking six years to eventually get this movie off the ground (1989-1995).

Richard: You know, the motion picture business has a reputation for attracting money. When I first started, there was German Tax shelter money. And then the Japanese came in. There was always somebody that producers could go rape and pillage to get money from.

Jonathan: Raising $35 million was the key to this equation.

Richard: What happened was, I became friendly with a man named Stefano Ferrari. Stefano came from one of the largest pharmaceutical company's in Italy, but he didn't want to be part of that business so he moved to America; he kind of lived off his father's money and then went off to form a film production company.

Stefano: My dad had actually cut me off years earlier because of my professional and lifestyle choices. At the time, I was living off my wife's modeling money and the residuals from an aerobics tv show I had made for Italian television). Anyway, I read the script for T-Rex—by the way, the film used to be called T-Rex so I'm going to refer to it as that—and I have to say it was really, really a good script. Now, I can guess what you are thinking, but at this stage the script was a really a gritty sci-fi story. It was a dark, futuristic buddy cop movie, but where one of the buddies just happened to be a dinosaur.

Richard: So Stefano and I, we started working together and set out to raise money for Jonathan's script.

Stefano: The story about Jonathan was that he had a very aggressive, very "powerful" in quotes agent. Richard was trying to get the rights to the project, but he had no money to do it. So as the initial seed money was coming in, his agent was imposing a lot of things on us. And one of those things was that Jonathan would direct the project. There was no script without Jonathan directing it.

Jonathan: If you write, you have a responsibility to your material to direct.

Stefano: One thing for sure is that Jonathan is bigger than life. In both personality and physical stature. And, you know, he could explain the project really well. He was really into it. He had a vision. At this point, we had a lot of confidence in him.

Jonathan: The thing about Stefano is that he was just such a gentleman. A gentleman and an aristocrat. You just wanted to protect him from all the craziness of making a movie. But the fact of the matter is that, in the end, nobody's protected from it, are they?

Theodore Rex

Part 2: An Asteroid Named Whoopi

Stefano: First of all, the lead character was a white male originally. So we were thinking of someone like Kurt Russell. But then as the budget for the film grew a little bit—to pay Jonathan and hire some animatronics people to make a head that we could show to investors and distributors—and what happened was Richard realized that in order to really raise the money for this film we needed to get a star. And eventually he came up with the idea that Whoopi Goldberg would be very good for this.

Richard: Whoopi—being funny and sassy—plus a dinosaur, it seemed like a good idea.

Stefano: Whoopi was just out of Sister Act 2 and that was why we thought she could get us the distribution we needed.

Jonathan: I rewrote the script to that because I thought the pairing of a dinosaur was still unique enough that maybe Whoopi would bring some zaniness to it.

Richard: I had become friendly with a guy by the name of Larry Finch; he was kind of a guy around town who was friends with Whoopi Goldberg. I approached her with the concept and it seemed like a good idea to her. We eventually had a couple of meetings, made her an offer of $5 million and she said "I'm going to do this. I'm in." And then we started pre-production and hiring people.

Although it had taken a while to get the film off the ground, T-Rex was finally headed towards production. Until things got, well, complicated.

Stefano: And this was a process that had happened over months; everyone was excited and things were moving ahead until suddenly Richard would call Whoopi and she stopped picking up. And if he ever got her on the phone, there was always an excuse. Meanwhile, the conversations with her agents were getting less and less dynamic.

Richard: To this day, I don't really know what happened. I just think that she, hmmm, no. I don't know. I really don't know.

Stefano: Whether this happened because, you know, Whoopi found information about Richard and decided this would not be good for her within the industry, or her agents talked her out of it, which was the speculation at the time—this is a very dangerous project, Betuel might not be up to par as a director, you're going to be acting against an animatronic—I don't know for sure.

Jonathan: Stefano had graciously given Whoopi—who at that time was sort of betwixt the good favor of Hollywood—this landmark banner deal to which her manager/producer then took to the studios to used raise her price and get her a three picture deal. I don't blame her for that, really, but it got to the point where Stefano was still paying holding money on the vast amount of money that was set aside. And Whoopi's people, they basically said: we know you paid this, Stefano, and we'll give you your money back. But if you're looking for anything more than that then sue us. Not in so many words, but that was the crux of it.

Stefano: Personally, I am not a litigious person, but Richard and I debated for a long time what to do. I was really against [suing her]. I think a 3-year-old could realize that you don't take to court your star. Because even if you win, what do you get out of it?

Richard: The Italians said, "you gotta find a way to get her to do it." So I was basically following the wishes of the people who had financed the film.

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In March 1993, a suit was filed against Whoopi Goldberg, who then fired back by countersuing Richard Abramson.

Stefano: Prior to the lawsuit, Whoopi came to me and said: listen, let me out of this thing and I will help with the project. And I thought we should take her up on this offer. Because she had CAA behind her—she was very powerful in Hollywood—and she would have brought in a star that maybe wasn't as big as her, and maybe been an executive producer. But when that opportunity came, Richard didn't take it. In hindsight, I think not agreeing to this was probably the biggest mistake on T-Rex. Which does not mean the film would have been any better, but I'm talking about from a financial standpoint.

With no contract ever signed between the parties, this case seemed destined to be a grueling he-said/she-said dispute. Except for the fact, that as luck would have it, Richard Abramson had come across a secret weapon...

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Part 3: The Tape

Richard: Remember answering machines? Real answering machines? Where you could listen to the beginning of someone's message and see who it was before picking? Well what happened was, months earlier, Whoopi had called me at home. So I heard "Hey Rich, this is Whoopi" and of course I picked up. And I said something like, "look, we're getting ready to hire people and all this other stuff, so I want to make sure you're 100% committed." She said, "I'm 100% committed, I'm 100% behind this." And what I later realized was that the answering machine had still been recording, so I had this entire conversation on tape.

Stefano: That was definitely the element that ultimately changed everything. But it was also something that pissed Whoopi offer 100 times more.

Richard: Whoopi's people claimed that I had recorded this illegally, but the tape expert we hired testified that everything had been done on the up and up. So she hired a tape recording expert, a guy by the name of Anthony Pellicano. He was a private detective and fixer to the stars. So he was their expert witness, we had our expert witness and depositions were taken.

Stefano: This situation with Whoopi was handled horribly, horribly. And I cannot point just to Richard; I think it was a collective fault.

Richard: And so off we got into this lawsuit. It got a lot of attention in the press. This was the beginning of an era where cameras were allowed in the courtroom, so we kept showing up in the news.

Jonathan: You know what, I think that in endeavors like this that to fall in love with only one actor is a fast-track to getting your heart broken. Because you're suddenly limited by your own desires.

Richard: After some time, the judge gave the impression to Whoopi that there was a really good chance she was going to lose this case and that she ought to settle.

Theodore Rex

On September 9, 1993, they parties agreed to entered mediation, with retired Los Angeles Judge Lester E. Olsen hoping to bring the parties to a settlement. For his efforts, Judge Olsen was later awarded a special production consultant credit on Theodore Rex.

Richard: Whoopi was working on something else at the time, so these mediation sessions would begin around 6 PM every night—at these lawyer's offices in Century City—and go until 2 or 3 in the morning. This went on for days. Whoopi would be in one room with her attorney and I would be in another room with mine, and then a mediator went back and forth. Finally I said: "We're not getting anywhere. Let me just sit down with Whoopi; let's see if the two of us could work this out man to man, man to woman."

Stefano: I was pretty bearish on the outcome. I had met with Whoopi in New York before discovery had been filed and, even at that point, she said, "I'm not interested in settling any more and we're going to go through this." So I had mixed feelings at best.

Richard: She didn't want to sit down with me, but eventually her lawyers talked her into it. So we met in a room—we each had one attorney there, but they weren't allowed to speak—and I remember sitting down and she starts out with a bang. She goes, "Just for the record: I hate your guts."

Jonathan: You learn a lot of things when you make a movie. Any movie. And the number one thing I learned on this one was: you can't sue your star.

Richard: Then she goes, "Maybe in ten years, you and I can have a cup of coffee and laugh about this. But you've made my life a living hell and I hate your f***ing guts."

Stefano: Horribly, horribly.

Richard: And I said: okay, I completely understand that. But I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. And you're caught between a rock and a hard place. So why don't we figure something out? Suppose I give you a little more money? She didn't dismiss the idea and, funny enough, because this mediation had been going on all night we got to a certain hour the Italians were awake so I could call them and get things done.

Stefano: We ended up paying her $7 million to do the film.

Richard: Which means it really cost $8 million when you add in the legal costs. And at this point, it became clear to me that just by suing her—by being the frontman in the news—this was going to hurt my career. And also at this point, the Italians weren't happy with me because I was the guy who had gotten them into this thing. Plus, you know, Whoopi had banned me from ever showing up on set. And the other thing was, I can't remember why, I'd lost faith in Jonathan's ability as a director. Everything was bad. So we decided to go our separate ways, Stefano and I. Everything was bad. It's long enough now that it doesn't bother me any more, but every thing was just kind of bad, you know?

Theodore Rex

4: Little Ship, Big Ocean

Stefano: I ran into Whoopi twice during pre-production. One of those times, I was walking out of an office and she was walking in. I said hello but she did not. Instead, she muttered under her breath: motherf***er. And from then on, she referred to me as "motherf***er." That's who I was.

Jonathan: Stefano and I, we became closer. Because I think that we both just thought: we've come this far, let's see if we can't make it all the way. When you set out to make a movie, you're in a little ship in a big ocean and you're hopefully pulling on the same oars together with the same intent. And each day brings a new trial that you hopefully overcome. The only problem with that is that sometimes you don't know if you overcame it or not until production is over and it's four months later.

Stefano: To replace Richard, I brought in Sue Baden-Powell. She was a good line producer, but was affected by the tension on the set.

Jonathan: I had to sort of distance myself from the legal aspects of things. And just say to Whoopi, as well as the rest of the cast and crew: let's tell a nice, a sweet story. Let's tell a story of innocence.

Stefano: By the time production began, the dinosaur (instead of being a Ferdinand-the- Bull-type), he was now just an idiot. The story had become very kiddie-like.

Jonathan: Production was a struggle, but one of my favorite parts was how beautiful Walter had made the set.

Walter: The concept I came up with was kind of a cross between a children's book and science fiction vibe. So we had a really unique look that I was really excited about. In terms of inspiration, there's a children's illustrator named Chris Van Allsburg; he did books like Jumanji and The Polar Express. He tended to work in a kind of a pastel look, so I did all of my concept art in oil pastels to capture that soft rounding of pieces. A real textural light and shade. That's why the painting of the building was purples and blues and yellows. We wanted to saturate color everywhere to dull the sci-fi edge. So the paint work was really essential on the job.

Jonathan: For the budget we were given, we tried to make a little jewel box of a picture.

Walter: Jonathan was great. He was a great conceptual thinker and really had a vision for how to make this film stand out. But the thing that would occasionally become frustrating with Jonathan was that whenever we were halfway through something, he would tend to get a fresh idea and say, "Hey, why don't we do this instead? Let's change this and this and this." And since, you know, it takes weeks or months to design a particular set, I'd have to kind of talk him down.

Stefano: Jonathan's a great writer, but he's just not a director. And that was an issue.

Walter: We were under the gun and just didn't have the time, so I'd wound up saying something like "Of those five things you want—like maybe he'd seen them done in a movie he watched over the weekend—what's your favorite thing? Pick one thing and maybe there's enough time to do that." Otherwise, I really enjoyed working with him. He was a nice guy, and very smart, so you really wanted to accommodate him as much as you could. After all, it was his baby.

Bruce: It was his baby, but that was the thing. He had a lot of passion, but he couldn't stop worrying about the child. There was tons of second-guessing because he was mother and father.

Jonathan: No parent can admit they have an ugly child, you know what I mean?

Bruce: So I think he was doing his damndest to make this opportunity work but because of that whole legal situation he really didn't have anyone left that to support him and bounce around ideas. Then you throw in that he had Whoopi Goldberg as God. And he and Whoopi did not work.

Jonathan: I knew Whoopi did not want to be there, but there were times when I thought she bought into what we were doing and others time where she did not.

Bruce: They were just two people who approached creativity differently. Whoopi had a super honest, let's-communicate attitude whereas Jonathan—and I'm not saying one is better than the other—he likes to ruminate and figure things out on his own. And this dynamic was very clearly not working.

Stefano: They weren't best buddies at first, but they did at least get along. But I think that as the film progressed, Whoopi sort of made certain demands—certain requests that he disagreed with as a director—and that just added to the tension on set. You know, I wish I could give you more specifics, but I had been banned from the set by Whoopi.

Bruce: What was Whoopi like? Well let me tell you about my first day on set. So I'm there—controlling the dinosaur—and I'm performing the hell out of the eye-blink because the rest of the mechanics are busted. Here I am, on the first day of my first feature film, and nothing's working and they're just yelling at me to keep going. So Whoopi looks right at me and she shouts: "IS THIS F***ING THING GONNA WORK?" She's staring right at me and I just wither and say "we're trying." And she goes: "IT BETTER," then she storms off the set. So I go back to my little honeywagon. I don't know if you've ever been in one of these things, but it's just a toilet with a really stinky bed. And I'm in the fetal position, saying to myself: it's over, my career is over. I'm just gonna go home to wife and have to tell her what happened. "Whoopi yelled at me and I'm never going to work in any town or any planet known to man ever again."

Walter: What was Whoopi like? Boy, I was hoping you weren't going to ask me that. I'd rather not give you any specifics, but let's just say that, to this day, if I see her on TV or something I have to change the channel immediately.

Bruce: But it turns out that once we got things going and Whoopi realized where she was, she kind of took me under her wing. She noticed I was in this little crappy trailer— playing the lead alongside her in the movie—and she said "let me get you a real trailer." So she got me a trailer and we started talking and we became great friends. She was amazing to my family and my son throughout all of Theodore Rex.

Walter: The biggest challenge with Theodore Rex was factoring in the scale of the dinosaurs in this world. For example, here's a classic issue that came up a lot: Whoopi is a normal human height [she's 5'5"], but our dinosaur was something like ten feet tall. And he had this tail that was about five feet long. So when I'd start to lay out the plan for a set, I'd always have to factor in this tail-radius of 5 feet so that he could turn around. If you didn't have that space, then he'd be knocking down a table every time he turned around. And there were little things too that you couldn't forget about; like if the dinosaur was going to sit down, you had to design a chair with a hole in the back so that the tail could go through.

Jonathan: This was before CGI, so we were at the mercy of many things.

Walter: The other major challenge was the city was supposed to be a grid—a yellow grid—so whenever we were on location I'd have to map out where exactly our characters were supposed to be on the grid and color it accordingly. So the paintwork that went on had to be done on a realistic scale. Today you could probably do most of this in color correction. But back then, for example, when the script called for an 80-foot tall purple building with some remnants of the yellow grid, we literally had to paint an 80-foot tall building purple and yellow. It was pretty cool, actually.

Stefano: It was very colorful and very cartoonish and, yes, it looked nice. But, again, this brought about a question of tone.

Bruce: I was less concerned with tone than actually getting the animatronics to work. When I first arrived on set, the controls weren't working.

Stefano: Something that got overlooked, because the film took so many years to put together, was how much the technology had changed during that time. When we started, the show Dinosaurs was a big hit. And then you had the Muppets too, and whatnot. And so the people we hired to construct the suits and machines and mechanical things, they were top-notch...for 1989. Fast forward to 1994, when CGI started evolving very quickly, and we were out of the game. In fact, I remember going to Cannes and seeing the premiere for a movie called Dragonheart, which used CGI. And I remember sitting there in the audience and saying to myself: we're f***ed.

Bruce: And to make matters worse, the whole first month was spent filming at night. And LA had been hit by this unbelievable cold snap—I swear, it was like 20 or 30 degrees every night. And there was so much fog that we sometimes had to wait around for hours. We were freezing our butts off. That's just not the way to start any production. Freezing. Shivering. Chattering. Whoopi looked fantastic though. She was in the best shape of her life. She was wearing this tight black stuff and she was sexy, man. She was absolutely just glowing. And also pissed, of course.

Jonathan: You gotta live and you gotta learn as you go.

Bruce: I don't know what happened with Jonathan, but he was so insecure that he kept re-writing the script as we went along. So he would think up lines and then I'd run up to the actors and give them the latest material. I remember one time, Armin [Mueller-Stahl], who played the villain, he replied, "Hey Bruce, how about we try the lines as they were written for once? Please." Because the changes, they kept coming and coming. Jonathan was in way over his head, and he was trying his best to tread upwards. And Jonathan did his best, God Bless him. But he was just overmatched. He was overmatched by people who weren't going to put up with the nonsense of someone who didn't know what they wanted. That's the killer.

Stefano: Jonathan always had confidence, but then whenever he'd be confronted, he would retreat a little bit. Especially in front of Whoopi. You could just sense that his "bigger than life" personality wasn't there on set.

Bruce: Oh, we just had so many crazy things happen, you know? Like there were some rival puppet builders who came in to take pictures of what we were using, and then they got caught doing a little bit of espionage. It was the craziest process. The stupidest, nonsensical stuff. And we just shot and shot and shot this thing. And it was never over...

Until it finally was. Production finally wrapped and although things had not quite gone accordingly to plan, New Line Pictures had already agreed to distribute the film. Perhaps, miraculously, viewers would find the charm in this movie? Maybe the final product would be greater than the sum of all these strange parts? It would now be up to theatergoers to decide except until it wasn't.

Part 5: Extinction

Stefano: If this film had made hundreds of millions of dollars, then most likely all of this would have been forgotten. But the fact that the film was a failure obviously augments that and makes all the things that I'm talking to you about the central piece. But, even so, that does not take away from the fact that the film was an actual piece of s***.

Walter: Until you reached out, I didn't even think anyone knew that this movie existed. Bruce: T-Rex? What a strange, strange movie. It was the germination of a crazy idea that should have just been left as a crazy idea, but yet there it was full blown.

Richard: You know, I meant to take my name of this picture, but by the time I got around to doing that it was too late.

Bruce: Believe it or not, sometimes I still get, like, $1.27 for royalties on this movie. But then sometimes the royalty statement is negative and I feel like someone's going to come to my house and take money away.

Richard: The bottom line is: I watched it once. Or tried. But the movie, in my view, is unwatchable...

Stefano: I question myself how this one got made.

Jonathan: Not to be evasive, but I don't remember much. I have no short-term memory for sad things.

One thing that Jonathan did remember though was New Line deciding not to release the film in theaters.

Jonathan: I was surprised. Surprised and chagrined, actually.

Stefano: And the title change, that was a New Line idea. I never agreed with that idea, mainly because I couldn't pronounce Theodore Rex.

Jonathan: Now that we're talking about it, I remember us being told that the test screenings had gone well—not great, but well—and being told that they were going to distribute it.

Stefano: The decision not to release the film theatrically was communicated to me by New Line. And that was it. I had a couple of conversations with our distribution people and they basically said "go sit in a corner and be quiet." And I didn't have the arguments to rebut because the film was what it was.

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To make matters worse, J&M—the film's international distributor—decided to try and recoup some of their investment by suing Stefano.

Jonathan: Stefano had nothing to do with why J&M was upset. It was just a case where the guy with the deepest pockets catches the bullets.

Stefano: So even when the film ended, it didn't really end. I was the last man standing on this thing. And by the way. I personally paid back every investor that I brought in. I didn't want to leave any loose strings.

Jonathan: I always felt awful about that. Really bad. It's just shouldn't have been. We all set upon the road with different expectations, but there again it just seemed like he caught hell at the worst time.

Stefano: Two dramatic events happened during this time in my life. One was T-Rex not coming out. And the other was my dad passing at 58.

Jonathan: That was such a tragedy, my god. And Stefano is such a great guy.

Stefano: So those two events spun my world around 180 degrees so I found myself taking on a business that I grew up with that I knew by association.

Richard: Looking back, it was an interesting time in my life. It's a good story, that's what it is. And a good excuse for why, despite making some popular films, I don't have $100 million in the bank. It's interesting how everything turns out, isn't it? When I was in college, as a good Jewish boy, I decided I should become a doctor. But I wasn't cut out for that. I was meant to make movies. And so I transferred into the Radio & Television program and thought I was on my way. But then Vietnam happened and I had a low draft number and I ended up getting drafted. So I figured that was end of any Hollywood career. But amazingly, at boot camp, the army heard about my passion and figured that I'd be better served making films for the Pentagon than going into combat or becoming an engineer. So strangely enough, I ended up becoming the head of the Army Production Studio in the Pentagon. Wearing civilian clothes, traveling around the world to look for stories that I wanted to shoot. After that, I formed a film company in D.C. and then eventually came to Hollywood and met some people...

Stefano: Here's the difference between investing in pharmaceuticals and investing in films. If I walk into a room full of investors and say that "I think I found the cure for cancer but it's going to take me 20 years a billion dollars to develop it," I bet 90% of the people would invest. But if I walk into a room full of investors and tell them "I found a great script and Stephen Spielberg is interested in directing it," I think even in that situation only about 20% of the people would invest. Because there is a perception in the film industry that you're a crook. That nothing presented is ever really as it seems. And maybe that's not accurate, but I have been very successful in the pharmaceutical industry and very unsuccessful in the film industry.

Jonathan: Producers will say "It's great! I love it, love it, love it" all along the way, but that doesn't really mean a thing. At the end of the day, all you can really hope for is that your batting average is better than not.

Stefano: From the outside, it may have looked like I had knowledge or experience with film. That perhaps I was just a pharmaceutical guy who got in over his head. But the truth is that I actually started out in the film industry. I started making films with my Super 8 camera when I was eight years old. And I had a mentor by the name of Saul Zaentz, who did movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Film was always my first love. And that's why I wanted to make T-Rex.

Bruce: It was just a cop/buddy movie, right? Everyone understood the genre. But in this case, you had to ask: why? Why are they talking? Why are they dressed as humans? Why are they dying? Why are they not fighting back? Why doesn't he eat meat? Why does he want to live in an apartment? I mean, so many whys. Why does he wear a ring? Why is he driving in a car? And why is he with Whoopi Goldberg? And nobody could figure any of that out, and nobody has since.

Theodore Rex

Blake J Harris is a writer and filmmaker based out of New York. He is currently co-directing the documentary based on his book Console Wars, being produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. He will also serve as an executive producer on Sony's feature-film adaptation of Console Wars.