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Video: Shots Fired! Bitter A-Team Director Joe Carnahan Angrily Calls Out Nikki Finke

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Wow. Deadline Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke rules the film industry news cycle with an iron fist/”publish” button. There are plenty of things to say about Finke — and people have — but you can’t say she minces words. Aside from what used to be routine needling on Gawker, or a wayward joke on Entourage, though, Nikki Finke’s detractors — where they are elsewhere — aren’t too vocal…or at least not like this. Enter the director of such critically acclaimed, quality fare as Smokin’ Aces, Narc, and most recently The A-Team, Joe Carnahan. Who went off on Finke in a recent video-interview.

Via Mark Graham/Whatevs, here’s Carnahan talking to The Hot Blog about Nikki Finke:

whoa. Graham also supplied a little bit of a transcript:

“She’s an idiot … You’ve got this fuckin’ moron who, I believe, her influence doesn’t really stretch west of Bundy … 99.999% of people outside of Hollywood have no fuckin’ idea who she is, or will miss her when she’s gone … I think she’s a putz … I can just see her surrounded by 47 cats and she hasn’t been laid in about 17 years.”

Carnahan’s choice of words — though less eloquent — isn’t a far stretch from some of the color Finke’s shown before (especially when she’s talking smack). And again, like everyone else, there’s plenty out there to knock about Finke. But here, Carnahan just sounds like a bitter, unaware egomaniac who’s maybe been on the wrong end of Finke’s pen one too many times. Or if you’re counting: four times.

The two most recent examples were when Finke threw The A-Team‘s second-place box office finish in Carnahan’s face and also detailed how many writers the script went through. Before that, Finke — whose coverage of the 2007 WGA strike was essential reading for anybody who had any remotely vested interest in the entertainment industry — called Carnahan an “incredible asshole” for a blog post he wrote decrying marquee actors supporting the WGA’s strike efforts, which was before he stupidly advocated “a little melee on the picket lines” and “tasting a little blood.” After he wrote it, he asked that Finke run an apology for his comments, which upset more people than just Finke, because they were incredibly ignorant. Finke obliged him.

So now Carnahan — who asked Nikki to run his press line, who has a reputation for saying stupid shit already, whose primary contribution to Hollywood are dull shoot-em-up movies that require little to no brain power to process — is running his mouth about how Finke has no influence? Forget that he’s doubling back on acquiescing to Finke’s influence in the past himself. He’s just wrong. Finke took Hollywood news away from publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, who have both historically been terribly at the mercy of the studios whose press releases they put out, and put it in her own hands. She’s not going to make it? She already did make it, as evidenced by that time Mail.com bought her site out. And come on, nobody past Bundy? Nikki Finke’s a brand name for bloggers and for Hollywood news, now, and she’s that for people whether they’re here in New York — watching her get name-checked on HBO, reading her getting profiled by The New Yorker, etc — or in LA, where way more people know what a “Nikki Finke” is than they would a “Joe Carnahan.” Saying anything less would be to show a hand of the same stripe of out-of-touch ignorance that, say, would lead one to disparage a workers’ movement almost all of Hollywood was behind. It’s just some asshole being loud, stupid, wrong, and bush league. Kind of like the guy’s movies, actually.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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