From the outside, The Astaire Building, the early-‘90s structure on the Sony lot where Michael De Luca Productions is housed, is about as rock ‘n’ roll as the dancer which lends the edifice its name.
But De Luca’s office – which includes the usual neat stacks of scripts on the desk, scattering of books, and LCD television – shows that something a little more personal is at work here.
The mod rug that evokes the work of Charles and Ray Eames, crisp Mad Men-style couch and framed black and white photographs – selections from California pop artist Ed Ruscha’s photo-doc of the mid-‘60s Sunset Strip – suggests that this guy has style. And maybe some taste, too, for classic modernism’s austere intellectualism and sharp edges.
“I like those clean lines,” says De Luca, who once lived in a sleek modernist house above Sunset Plaza when he was the bad-boy production head of New Line. “My wife doesn’t, though, so we’re living in a Cape Cod-style house in Brentwood right now. This is an homage,” he says with a little smile, neither boastful nor embarrassed, “to the bachelor pad I had to give up.”
A lot has changed for De Luca -- and the industry -- since indie’s heyday, when he developed American History X, Menace 2 Society and Boogie Nights – and helped convince the ambitious little studio to put aside unprecedented sums for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Or has it? Industry buzz has De Luca, now 45 and father of a 2-year-old girl, on the verge of a comeback, or the early stages of roll of great movies. The Social Network -- directed by David Fincher, whom De Luca helped break with Seven – has become the most talked about film of last year, showing off a half dozen great performances and one of the most admired scripts in memory.
Here is my Hollywood Reporter Q+A with De Luca, who talks about past, present and future.