Lohan’s Arrest Spells Trouble for 2 Movies
LOS ANGELES, July 24 — Lindsay Lohan’s arrest on felony drug charges early Tuesday came at the worst possible time for TriStar Pictures, which plans this weekend to release “I Know Who Killed Me,” a low-budget thriller in which she stars.
Ms. Lohan had been set to promote the $12 million movie on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday night, but her appearance was abruptly canceled shortly after her arrest.
But the larger casualty of Ms. Lohan’s latest encounter with the law — setting aside the incalculable damage to her acting career — may be an independently financed project in which she was to have played only a supporting role.
That film is “Poor Things,” a fact-based dark comedy starring Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis as women who take out insurance policies on homeless people, only to kill them. Ms. Lohan, 21, was to play the niece of Ms. MacLaine’s character, and filming was to have started in three weeks.
With Ms. Lohan now presumably unavailable, it is unclear whether the film’s financing will hold together, two people involved with the film said Tuesday.
More broadly, Ms. Lohan’s arrest prompted veteran talent managers to issue dire warnings about the actress’s prospects if she is unable to clean up her act.
“I hope they put her in jail for as long as they can,” said Bernie Brillstein, whose company has represented John Belushi and Chris Farley. “Maybe she’ll realize how serious it is. I believe she’s uninsurable. And when you’re uninsurable in this town, you’re done.”
Ms. Lohan’s publicist and manager did not respond to messages.
The police said that Ms. Lohan was arrested after an alcohol-fueled pursuit of the mother of her former personal assistant on the streets of Santa Monica; she was charged with two misdemeanors as well as two felony charges of cocaine possession, after the drug was found in her pocket.
Production of “Poor Things,” which is to be directed by Ash Baron Cohen, was initially to have begun May 30, but was derailed four days earlier when Ms. Lohan crashed her Mercedes and was charged with driving under the influence. Photos taken two days later showed her passed out with her mouth open after a night of partying, and she checked herself into the Promises rehabilitation facility.
“Poor Things” was put on hold, but people involved in the movie said that Mr. Baron Cohen, the producers, and cast members like Ms. MacLaine all visited Ms. Lohan in rehab and rehearsed with her several times. “They believed in her,” one of the people said.
Ms. Lohan’s appearance at a Las Vegas nightclub wearing her alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet precipitated a crisis over the financing of “Poor Things” last week, and a news report — which proved false — said that the movie had been killed. A statement assuring the industry that the opposite was true was scheduled to be put out sometime Tuesday, a person involved in the film said.
But after Ms. Lohan’s arrest, a different statement was released. In it, Rob Hickman, the film’s producer, said: “We continue to be enthusiastic in our belief in ‘Poor Things,’ and our sole focus is moving this film into production. We expect to announce details on a start date in the very near future.”
TriStar Pictures, meanwhile, has played down Ms. Lohan in the marketing of “I Know Who Killed Me” as much as possible, given that she plays not just one but possibly two lead roles and is on screen in nearly every frame of the movie’s trailer.
The film’s marketing campaign was adjusted to adapt to Ms. Lohan’s rehab program, but one person familiar with the plans said that TriStar quickly booked her on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno after she checked out of Promises last week.
The film has not been screened for critics, but TriStar frequently skips screenings for its horror and thriller offerings. Executives at TriStar, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, declined to comment.
Another finished film starring Ms. Lohan and Jared Leto, “Chapter 27,” about John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman, won critical support at the Sundance Film Festival but has not found a distributor.