Breaking News: A spokeswoman for the producer of the new Lindsay Lohan film "I Know Who Killed Me" tells TMZ that the waifish starlet's planned stint in rehab won't affect his plans to make the thriller.
Asked if the picture would be still made with Lohan, 360 Pictures spokeswoman Kim Langlie insisted, "Absolutely, and soon," adding, "We understand that her rehab will be 'outpatient.' Replacing her is not even entering the dialogue." Langlie also noted that the film, produced Frank Mancuso, Jr., had already "shut down" pending medical clearance from Lohan's physicians after her reported bout with appendicitis. She offered no timetable for Lohan's return.
Langlie's statements are surprising, to say the least, because typically, when a star enters rehab, bonding and insuring them becomes a real headache, if not an outright impossibilty for an indie film's producers.
Former Slate.com and NPR contributor Edward Jay Epstein once explained the indie film bonding experience this way: "a completion bond...guarantees the banks that it will pay all cost overruns necessary to finish the movie and if the production is abandoned, it will pay all the money lost on the venture, which means that one way or another the bank will get back its money...this includes buying full insurance for the star..so if s/he is injured or quits the completion bond coverer gets all the money back from the insurer..."
(Or if you prefer a more dramatic explanation, just rewatch the first episode of Aaron Sorkin's NBC drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," in which Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford) takes a job as executive producer of a TV sketch comedy show because his time in rehab for coke means he can't get bonded to direct his new film.)
Despite the fact that "I Know Who Killed Me" is scheduled to get a release from Sony's TriStar Pictures, it's still really an indie, albeit one being financed by 360 Pictures -- the Mancuso, Jr. film company whose birth I wrote about a few years ago. What's unclear, however, is whether the credit facility being used to make the Lohan thriller is being provided directly by Tom Gores -- the billionaire financier of 360 Pictures -- or through the usual consortium of banks, which would demand a completion bond and insurance. If it's Gores' own money, making the movie will be less complicated, but probably far more risky for Gores: The "Killed Me" budget is estimated at no more than $15 million, but delays could easily send that figure soaring. (Mancuso, Jr. and Gores both declined to comment on the film's financing.)
Still, if the whole thing does go south, don't feel too bad for Tom. According to Forbes, Tom Gores was the world's 451st richest man in the world last year, with a net worth of $1.7 billion.