The most expensive line in a movie script
June 13, 2006 6:58 AM   Subscribe

I need some help tracking down the basis for a bit of film lore about the most expensive line from a movie script.

A friend asked me the following question:

"In film lore, there is some story about the most expensive line in a movie script. I'm sure the story takes many different forms, but I've forgotten the specifics. It is something like the line "the race continued" from Ben Hur or Sparticus cost 20 million dollars. Have you ever heard anything like this, and do you know the line?"

What I'm really looking for is the source (and correct details) for this bit of trivia, rather than hearing people's guesses about what the most expensive line really was.
posted by i love cheese to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Marlon Brando's lines at the beginning of Superman bagged him four million dollars for ten minutes of screen time.
posted by trondant at 7:13 AM on June 13, 2006


I think you're thinking of something that people bandy about as the most expensive possible stage direction: "The fleets meet."
posted by redfoxtail at 10:01 AM on June 13, 2006


Sorry, that is, the most expensive possible stage direction per word.
posted by redfoxtail at 10:02 AM on June 13, 2006


I think you're thinking of something that people bandy about as the most expensive possible stage direction: "The fleets meet."
posted by redfoxtail at 10:01 AM PST on June 13


[ARMAGEDDON OCCURS]
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:10 AM on June 13, 2006


Last year I rewrote a scifi epic for Universal. I turned in my draft, which was 115 pages, and the producer called me up and said "Can you take out ten pages, please?". I said "Sure, but why?"

To which he replied "A million dollars a page".
posted by unSane at 11:53 AM on June 13, 2006


[Supernova]
posted by box at 11:56 AM on June 13, 2006


Thanks redfoxtail. Now, I guess the question remains, to date what the has been the most expensive stage direction per word in a film?
posted by i love cheese at 12:24 PM on June 13, 2006


I don't have a specific cite, but William Goldman is supposed to have worked as a script doctor on Terminator 2 and got paid a million bucks, although the only thing that survived of his rewrite was "I'll be back", which is therefore pretty expensive at $333,333.33 a word. Perhaps that's what your friend meant?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:20 PM on June 13, 2006


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