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"Not to come off pompous or arrogant or judgmental, but it was a different film. He wanted to make a movie that recalled Paul Brickman's "Risky Business" or Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild," two films that had a huge impact on him as a teenager."His pitch was exactly that," Gordon said. But then he had to wait for Tom Rothman, the head of Fox at the time, to watch Greenfield's short before getting an official go-ahead for the project. "Other people wanted to do it, and I said, 'No, I have a feeling about this guy.'""The Animal" was released on June 1, 2001 and earned million worldwide.
"It was more of a teen comedy, and Luke came in and said that he wanted to make a new 'Risky Business,' which was one of my favorite movies. It was in that short interim period when Greenfield took a meeting with Adam Sandler to discuss directing "The Animal," a high-concept comedy starring Rob Schneider as a man who starts acting like various animals after receiving a bunch of life-saving organ transplants."It really broke Chuck Gordon's heart, because he had taken a chance on this 28-year-old and I went off to make 'The Animal,'" Greenfield said. It also taught Greenfield some valuable lessons, not about filmmaking, but about the politics of making a studio film.
It's practically tailor-made for this era of nostalgia: "Eight Actors You Totally Forgot Were In 'The Girl Next Door'" is a viral post that should probably have 2,000 Facebook shares by now.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Huff Post Entertainment spoke to Greenfield, Gordon and others involved in "The Girl Next Door" about the film's rich backstory, which includes everyone from Katie Holmes and Brad Pitt to Steven Spielberg and Adam Sandler.
"Tom Green was huge," Greenfield remembered about the era, "but I wasn't very interested."Fortunately for Greenfield, Cramer still was: The executive, who now works at Universal, helped Greenfield find an agent -- "Peter is responsible for beginning my whole career," Greenfield said -- and then told him about another project set up at New Regency: "The Girl Next Door.""They had at the time, the premise.
They had a screenplay, but not one word was the same as the movie that got made," Greenfield said of the script, which was written by David Wagner and Brent Goldberg. But the premise, of a kid falling in love with a porn star who moves in next door and is trying to escape her past, really excited me on a number of levels."Greenfield, who had turned 28 by this time, discussed his vision of "The Girl Next Door" with Gordon and producer Marc Sternberg. At that time in my life, I was eating pasta."As luck would have it, Gordon not only understood Greenfield's decision, but decided to wait for the director before moving forward with "The Girl Next Door." "That's how much we wanted him," Gordon said.
To be honest, I get sick when I see it," said Gordon, a Hollywood veteran who also produced blockbuster hits such as "Die Hard" and "Field of Dreams." "Minimum, we should have done the business 'American Pie' did, which was huge and had sequels."Released on Easter weekend in 2004, "The Girl Next Door" did not do "American Pie" business.