Today in quirky Hollywood rivalries: Alfonso Cuarón revealed in The Hollywood Reporter's roundtable of directors that he regretted making the 1998 Great Expectations, at which point David O. Russell revealed that he was totally jealous of the Gravity director.
Cuarón was talking about the creative slump he fell into after 1995's A Little Princess:
"And then I got a bit engaged in the machinery. I forgot that I used to do my own stuff, and I became this reader of screenplays that they were sending to me. And I started forgetting that I had a voice. It started to become more about the industry. And then I did a film that was a horrible experience, Great Expectations (1998). That is a film that I should have not done. I passed many times, and then I ended up saying yes for the wrong reasons."
The film plunked Charles Dickens's story into 20th Century America and featured Ethan Hawke as the Pip-like protagonist ("Finn") and Gwyneth Paltrow as the seductress Estella, both in their full 1990s glory. Anne Bancroft and Robert De Niro also starred. The movie got middling reviews (BUT it also gave a us a soundtrack featuring Tori Amos's "Siren," for which the universe should at least be a little bit grateful).
If Cuarón had ultimately passed, though, another director would have been happy to take up the mantle. " I was jealous that you got to make that film because I wanted to make it!" American Hustle's Russell told Cuarón during the roundtable. "Really, you should have," Cuarón replied.
Honestly, we think things turned out okay for the both of them.