Inside Man


At the Cannes Film Festival in 2000, Russell Gewirtz, an old friend of Daniel, approached him with an idea for a movie and pitched Daniel the opening scene and the ending scene of a film. Daniel was hooked. “What’s the rest of the story?” he asked Russell. “I haven’t thought of it yet.” And so began a one year journey, with Daniel sending Russ a handful of his favorite scripts for inspiration (and pagination). After tens of drafts, the script was sold for a million dollars in a three-way bidding war. A few years later, Daniel and Spike Lee were plotting to attach Denzel, Clive and Jodie…and a year or so after that, INSIDE MAN became the most profitable movie for Universal that year. (It also won the AFI award for Top Ten Film of the Year).



Daniel read the NOVOCAINE script and made a deal with the writer, David Atkins, that if Daniel could find a Film Studio willing to let David make his directorial debut, Daniel could produce the movie. Seemed like a good deal at the time, but Daniel didn’t realize he would spent the next three years running around Hollywood trying to make that happen. When he attached Steve Martin to the script, soon the financing, Helena Bonham Carter and Laura Dern fell into place (not to mention a nice Kevin Bacon cameo - which means if you work with Daniel, you’ll be two degrees from Kevin!). Daniel’s first day on the set of Novocaine was actually his first time ever on a movie set. The final result was a film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and a friendship with Steve that lasted for months.


Righteous Kill

The story behind bringing Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino together for the first time on screen is a great one and one that Daniel’s happy to relay in person after you’ve been checked for recording devices.