This time it's appropriate to say it: there are no more star in Hollywood, but only a trace of falling stars, faded and dangerously closed to an end. Yes, because as you know, the economic crisis has spared no one, and also in the Mecca of cinema the atmosphere is much more subdued than in the past. The last to pay the price of the economic recession was Nicolas Cage, nephew of the great Coppola and heir of a family of one of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood.
The actor, who during his career had everything he wanted, from a castle in Bavaria to the skull of a dinosaur, will have to pay seven million dollars to the U.S. Treasury. But it does not end here, because the list of debts of the Academy award winner is much longer than that of the roles he played. All thanks to the 'failure' of his accountant, who has accumulated huge losses by managing the assets of the actor so badly, because of investments evaporated, sucked into the subprime mortgage bubble. Result: Nicolas Cage has sued his now ex-aide to get a record compensation of 20 million dollars. Meanwhile, these are going to be very hard times for him: not to end up like Boy George, who has made ends selling shirts at a flea market in London, Nicolas had to be sold two of his villas in the French Quarter of New Orleans sold at auction for three and a half million dollars.
But the handsome Coppola nephew is only the latest in the series: before him many other stars had ended up broke like Eddie Murphy, who was forced to sell his home in California for $ 15 million (instead of thirty) and the former world's most famous lifeguard, Pamela Anderson. The blonde woman should give back to the coffers of the court in Los Angeles 250 thousand dollars in evaded taxes and to the construction company that has renovated her house, on the beach in Santa Monica, more than one million and 200 thousand dollars. Other stars, though affected by the recession and the scarcity of mega productions of the past, have decided, instead, to halve their cachet, adapting to the new climate of austerity that reigns in the studios: from Meryl Streep to Will Smith, from Harrison Ford's to the award-winning Ron Howard, who seems to have offered his work to the majors at more than discounted prices.
And while Hollywood ponders its future, production houses are beginning to stake everything on India and China hoping to stay afloat while the crisis rages. Just think at the indian Reliance ADA Group, which has invested 325 million dollars in the DreamWorks of Steven Spielberg and to the Chinese Huayi Group, which aims to colonize the territories of Sony Picture. A single figure is enough to give the pulse of the situation: this year only 8 films have been produced entirely in the old studios of Sunset Boulevard and Wiltshire Boulevard, compared to the 71 of 13 years ago. Downsizing has become an imperative, the last, perhaps, to restore meaning to the film industry and to its performers. Before that, as in a movie, come the end credits to sweep everything away.
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