WAS POLANSKI ARRESTED NOW BECAUSE HE'S OUTLIVED HIS USEFULNESS TO HOLLYWOOD?
I didn't really want to post anything about Roman Polanski (though Aimai may have something to say). However, with regard to his arrest and the "why now?" question, I've been harboring a rather conspiracy-minded theory -- a theory that gets support from this New York Times article:
... in a town where heat is measured by who will take your calls -- and how quickly -- Hollywood has most assuredly become a chillier place for Mr. Polanski over the last decade. And it has been for reasons beyond morals.
Studio executives cite a cold box office streak and the director's idiosyncratic approach to his career. In short, it's a judgment call that this guy is no longer readily commercial.
... the warmth of fellow artists isn’t shared by most studio accountants.
... "Frantic," a middling box-office performer, was followed by two tiny films, "Bitter Moon" and "Death and the Maiden." In 1999 came an attempt at something more commercial -- a mystery starring Johnny Depp called "The Ninth Gate" -- but it was a dud. Mr. Polanski's 2005 version of "Oliver Twist" was a disaster, costing an estimated $60 million but selling only $2 million in tickets at North American theaters. (It sold $40.5 million overseas.)
"The Pianist," which cost about $30 million to make, was a hit that sold $121 million in tickets worldwide.
But by 2003 Mr. Polanski had reached an age and an income level that made him unwilling to bend to the demands of an evolving Hollywood....
Hollywood is an industry. When an industry has serious clout in a city, can that industry's honchos pressure or persuade law enforcement to back off in certain cases? And has that sort of protection now ended for Polanski because the suits think it's highly unlikely that he's ever going to make them any money again?
(If you care, I think he should face justice, and shouldn't have been allowed to evade it for so long -- and yet I'm also grateful for the existence of The Pianist. He should have been jailed, and yet he did good work because he wasn't. There just isn't an exact moral correspondence between creative work and the people who make it.)