He is everywhere. We do not live under a rock so we know the star is being treated for cancer. It's sad, but he's moving on. He's learning to cope; looks fantastic while undergoing chemotherapy. He's gonna beat this thing. He may have passed the HPV virus onto his star-wife. Everything will be fine. He's a fighter -- and he wants everyone to know he's A-OK.
Simply put: Michael Douglas can't stop talking.
None of this is good for the sleep of Oliver Stone, a wayward director who needs Wall Street Money Never Sleeps to be a mega-hit to stay on top. Particularly since the movie -- which stars everyone they could fit above the title (what is Susan Sarandon doing in there?) -- was pushed back from last spring, which doesn't bode well for long-in-the-tooth sequels.
From the perspective of selling Hollywood, America needs Oscar winners who play hardened bastards to Be The Dude, act the part, and shut up about your own hard life during nonstop promotion of what is essentially a positioning of the followup to a 23-year old movie. It's starting to look like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2: Buy me because you miss me. Wall Street The Second could become a sad casualty of Douglas' unsubtle tell-all behavior.
Weirdly, Douglas quoted his dad -- the scion of his generation: "Kirk told me once to always look great because you never know when you're going to have cancer." Cancer. When did the C word become so open and, here I say it, trendy?
Two words: Patrick Swayze.
Swayze's expensive show on A&E starred the dying man and a model hunk, for this is the formula now: the aging star running with a super-appealing sidekick. Swayze had a much-anticipated season a year and a half ago with The Beast -- but I had to look up the title up. No one wanted to watch it no matter how much the network promoted the cancer-stricken star's return to work. I guess all those hoarders and interventionees didn't sway us to Patrick. The Beast was a failure. Odd because the show was well-conceived, had great production values, even a message. Swayze's extreme hype-over could not be bought: an hour with Oprah and Walters and Dateline and Ellen and ... the cover of every living magazine including Us, EW, Reader's Digest, People, NY Times Magazine and AARP!?
The numbers were abysmal.
So right now Douglas is all rogue. It's like if he's forgotten why he's doing those interviews. I can't believe those Wall Street PR folks knew what was happening when he went on Letterman and told the whole story. Blaming the doctors for not knowing earlier. I found it hard to watch. Even on You Tube.
And Stone, who is measured by the second, has got to be fretting. I'm sure he feels terrible for his friend's health but everyone needs to learn from Father Kirk: Mystery keeps a movie star in our sight lines. We're supposed to know nothing but a few tidbits about their love lives. Doesn't Douglas have enough to chat about with Catherine Zeta-Jones-Smith-Douglas in his arms?
This is not the legacy of Gordon Gekko. What we have instead is Michael Douglas talking about the worst period of his life on a loop -- and if there's room in the profile you learn that his son is doing hard time for drugs!
People tell their friends to run to a movie. Witness: "I'm positive Easy A will be a rollicking fun good time ... that gorgeous Emma Stone, she was hot-hot in Zombieland. The new Alicia Silverstone, I'm told. My pal saw it twice. I can't wait! Wanna go with?"
On tap this weekend is not the intensity of Wall Street but a sad Michael Douglas tale we've walked by on countless covers, followed by a few clammy appearances at premieres where the star can't stay because he's too weak.
Maybe we're supposed to flock to witness Carey Mulligan falling in love with man-boy Shia LaBeouf -- that was the PR-constructed narrative. But we have RedBox for that. This Wall Street sequel is a studio "tent pole" for fall and its star is blabbing the wrong type of blue streak. (Last spring Douglas was in Vanity Fair talking about the movie -- about resurrecting the Gekko reputation. Before the diagnosis.)
Remember that Douglas' main man was hot -- Gekko The Immoral -- too fantastic to believe -- you stood by him through thick -- and that guy had a heart of stone (not Sharon). He was easy to love on endless repeats on TNT. We are not being reminded of that. We are reminded, however, of Douglas' premature aging in the current renter of Solitary Man, a 2010 big screen dud Douglas diatribe that disappeared (strangely costarring Susan Sarandon!).
I believe the star will have scared away his greatest fans who don't have room for these personal stories. They expect him to act brave after the flick is sampled so we could judge based on nothing preconceived. Do that, and you can have one hell of a first box office haul!!
Movie going decisions are always based on how we wake up. This nation feels like crap. We want to be healthy and happy and count our pocket change. Your job, should you accept, Mister Move Star, is make us feel good with every close-up.
So best of luck, Michael Douglas. I mean about opening weekend.
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