Jon Peters

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Jon Peters
Born
John H. Peters

(1945-06-02) June 2, 1945 (age 73)
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1976–2018
Children3

John H. Peters (born June 2, 1945)[1] is an American film producer and former hairdresser.

Early life[edit]

Peters was born in Van Nuys, California[1] as the son of Helen (née Pagano), a receptionist and Jack Peters, a cook who owned a Hollywood diner.[2] He is of Cherokee (father) and Italian (mother) descent.[3] His mother's family owned a renowned salon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Jack Peters died when Jon was 10 years old and Helen later remarried.[4]

Career[edit]

Peters first joined the family hairdressing business at Rodeo Drive where he made many film industry connections. Peters designed a short wig that Barbra Streisand wore for the comedy For Pete's Sake (1974) to which the couple began a relationship. He later produced Streisand's studio album ButterFly (1974) and also gained a producing credit on Streisand's remake of A Star Is Born (1976), although the extent of his contribution has been disputed.[5] He also worked alongside Peter Guber for the next 10 years with whom he headed Sony Pictures Entertainment from 1989 until 1991 in which the two men were the subject of the book Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters.[6]

Superman Lives, Superman Returns and Man of Steel[edit]

In the early 1990s, Peters bought the film rights to the Superman franchise from Warner Bros. In his Q&A/comedy DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith, writer/director Kevin Smith talked about working for Peters when he was hired to write a script for a new Superman film which was then called Superman Reborn and later Superman Lives.[7] According to Smith, Peters had expressed disdain for most of Superman's iconic characteristics by demanding that Superman was never to fly[8] nor appear in his trademark costume.[8] He also suggested Sean Penn as being ideal for the role based on his performance as a death row inmate in Dead Man Walking in which he said that Penn had the eyes of a "caged animal, a fucking killer." Peters then demanded that the third act of the film include a fight between Superman and a giant spider,[9] to be unveiled in an homage to King Kong. Peters later produced the 1999 steampunk western comedy Wild Wild West, the finale of which featured a giant mechanical spider.[9]

Smith met Peters after completing a script and Peters instructed him to include a robot sidekick for Brainiac, a fight scene between Brainiac and two polar bears and a marketable "space dog" pet similar to Star Wars character Chewbacca. Smith inserted them into his script but the project was then abandoned and the script discarded.

In Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, Peters admitted that the Superman franchise was problematic for him: "The elements that I was focusing on were away from the heart, it was more leaning towards 'Star Wars' in a sense, you know. I didn't realize the human part of it, I didn't have that."

He subsequently served as a producer for Superman Returns, the 2006 Superman film directed by Bryan Singer and as an executive producer for Man of Steel, the 2013 Superman film directed by Zack Snyder.[10] Peters was banned from the Man of Steel set by producer Christopher Nolan.[11]

The Sandman[edit]

Peters was a producer for a planned adaptation of the Sandman comics for Warner Bros., which met with controversy. One draft script commissioned by Peters was reviewed on the Internet at Ain't It Cool News,[12] and was met with scorn. Sandman creator Neil Gaiman called the last screenplay that Warner Bros. would send him "...not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read."[13] By 2001, the project had become stranded in development hell.

In a 2005 interview, Gaiman commented: "But Sandman movies, they just got increasingly appalling. It was really strange. They started out hiring some really good people and you got Elliott and Rossio and Roger Avary came in and did a draft. They were all solid scripts. And then Jon Peters fired all of them and got in some people who take orders, and who wanted fistfights and all this stuff. It had no sensibility and it was just...they were horrible."[14]

Book[edit]

Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog reported on a book proposal for the autobiography of Peters, written by himself and Los Angeles writer William Stadiem.[15] Peters reportedly intended to write about his life with Streisand and a string of other celebrity lovers. In 2009, he subsequently withdrew from the HarperCollins book deal after adverse publicity triggered by the leaking of the proposal and potential lawsuits.[16]

Harassment lawsuit and end of career[edit]

In August 2011 a Los Angeles jury ordered Peters to pay a former assistant $3.3 million after finding she was subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment during production of Superman Returns,[17][18] effectively ending his career. Since 2001, Peters has only three credits; two for producing (Superman Returns in 2006 and the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born) and one for executive producing (Man of Steel in 2013). The latter credit was for a project already underway before the suit ended.

Personal life[edit]

Peters has a son with actress Lesley Ann Warren named Christopher Peters, who is an actor and also a producer.[19]

He also has two daughters, Caleigh Peters and Skye Peters; Barbra Streisand is their godmother.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Notes
1976 A Star Is Born
1978 Eyes of Laura Mars
1979 The Main Event As executive producer
1980 Die Laughing
Caddyshack As executive producer
1981 An American Werewolf in London As executive producer
1982 Missing As executive producer
Six Weeks
1983 Flashdance
D.C. Cab As executive producer
1985 Vision Quest
The Legend of Billie Jean As executive producer
Clue As executive producer
The Color Purple As executive producer
Head Office As executive producer
1986 The Clan of the Cave Bear As executive producer
Youngblood As executive producer
Brotherhood of Justice As executive producer; made-for-television film
1987 The Witches of Eastwick
Innerspace As executive producer
Who's That Girl As executive producer
1988 Nightmare at Bittercreek As executive producer; made-for-television film
Caddyshack II
Gorillas in the Mist As executive producer
Missing Link As executive producer
Rain Man As executive producer
1989 Finish Line As executive producer; made-for-television film
Tango & Cash
Batman
1990 The Bonfire of the Vanities As executive producer
1992 Batman Returns As executive producer
1993 This Boy's Life As executive producer
1994 With Honors As executive producer
1995 Money Train
1996 My Fellow Americans
1997 Rosewood
1999 Wild Wild West
2001 Ali
2006 Superman Returns
2013 Man of Steel As executive producer
2018 A Star Is Born

Further reading[edit]

  • Griffin, Nancy; Masters, Kim (1996). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony For a Ride in Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80931-1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  2. ^ "Jon Peters Biography (1945?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ Shah, Diane K. (October 22, 1989). "The Producers". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  4. ^ "Jon Peters biography" Yahoo Movies
  5. ^ Barbra by Donald Zec and Anthony Fowles, chapter 17
  6. ^ Nancy Griffin; Kim Masters (1997). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony For A Ride In Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80931-1
  7. ^ Kevin Smith talks about Superman on YouTube
  8. ^ a b Rossen, Jake (2008). Superman Vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon. Chicago Review Press. p. 217. ISBN 1-55652-731-4.
  9. ^ a b Cronin, Brian (2009). Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed. Penguin Group. p. 25. ISBN 0-452-29532-7.
  10. ^ Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" teaser trailer, with Jon Peters credited on YouTube
  11. ^ ""I Am the Trump of Hollywood": The Reclusive and Outrageous Jon Peters Is Still Rich. Really Rich". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  12. ^ Moriarty takes a look at what Jon Peters has done with Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN property!!! – Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news
  13. ^ Comics2Film: Sandman Archived December 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Interview: Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon", Time, 2005
  15. ^ "IT SHOULD BE CALLED 'DICKHEAD': Why Jon Peters' Book Proposal Sets New Low", Deadline Hollywood
  16. ^ "PETERS PULLS PLUG ON TELL-ALL" Archived May 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., The New York Post, May 23, 2009
  17. ^ Film producer ordered to pay $3 million in sex case
  18. ^ Hollywood Docket: 'Superman' Producer Jon Peters Ordered To Pay $3.3 Mil in Sexual Harassment Trial
  19. ^ Coleman, Jim (October 1995). "Eight men enter, one man leaves". Black Belt. pp. 54–59. Retrieved 2017-08-27.

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