The Industry


Pacino! Chinatown 2! Spider-Man! The High-Water Mark of Cannon Films

Season 3, Ep. 12

At the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, the impresarios of Cannon Films — best known for movies like Superman IV and Over the Top — showed up on the scene in matching tracksuits, with a grand vision.

They announced their slate of movies for the next year or so. And while the majors were being lazy with their 15 or so movies a year, Cannon's announcement was for a jaw-dropping 60 films. Sixty!

Many of the films got made. But plenty of them didn't. The movies were to star Al Pacino, John Travolta, Walter Matthau, Whoopi Goldberg, and more, and involve creators like Paul Schrader and Roman Polanski. 

There were also big plans for a Spider-Man film, years before the hit Sam Raimi films starring Tobey Maguire as the web-slinger.

So what happened? We explain on this episode of the industry.

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