Amy Heckerling: 'Everyone in Hollywood passed on Clueless'
Amy Heckerling was told by executives that they didn't understand the humour.
Clueless director Amy Heckerling got rejected by "everybody in Hollywood" when she pitched the film's script.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the now-iconic film, Heckerling, who wrote and directed the teen classic, admitted to Variety that it took a long time to get the project off the ground because no Hollywood executives seemed to get its sense of humour.
"Everybody in Hollywood passed on it, and my agent Ken Stovitz was just driving himself insane trying to think of places and things and people that he could get it to and who would read it," she said. "And, you know, it was pretty much, 'No no no no.' It's kind of like when you read it, I don't think people understood the humour."
"To say you 'didn't get the humour' meant you just didn't get it," her agent Stovitz added. "One of the hardest things to ever arrive at in Hollywood is the truth of why someone rejects you... I mean, we got rejected everywhere twice. I just kept saying to Amy, 'We're going to get this done, we're going to get this done.'"
After struggling to find Clueless, which was originally written as a scripted TV series, a home, the film ultimately ended up at Paramount with producer Scott Rudin, and then everybody was interested.
"When Scott Rudin wanted to do it, there was a bidding war," Heckerling stated. "Everybody wanted to do it."
Clueless, an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma, went on to star Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, with a supporting cast including Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, and Donald Faison.
It opened in 1995 and became a box office smash hit, making $56.6 million (£44.7 million) from a $12 million (£9.4 million) budget, and it is still beloved and frequently watched to this day.
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