Movie Fact #291 - September 2nd, 2021
The 1976 film The Outlaw Josey Wales was originally set to be directed by Philip Kaufman, who Eastwood had brought in to polish the original script written by Sonia Chernus (Michael Cimino also worked with Kaufman on the polish). Eastwood thought Kaufman would make a great director for the film after being impressed by his work on the 1974 film White Dawn. However, a rift between Eastwood and Kaufman developed during the filming due to Kaufman insisting on filming with a meticulous attention to detail that would lead to disagreements between him and Eastwood. Not to mention, on a personal level, both Kaufman and Eastwood had developed an attraction towards the film's leading lady Sondra Locke (who was hired to begin with by Eastwood despite Kaufman's reservations). There was apparent jealousy on Kaufman's part in regard to Eastwood and Locke's emerging relationship.
Shortly after filming began in October 1975, Kaufman was fired at Eastwood's command by producer Bob Daley. This caused an outrage amongst the Directors Guild of America and other important Hollywood executives, since the director had already worked hard on the film, including completing all of the pre-production. Despite pressure mounting on Warner Bros. and Eastwood to back down, and their refusal to do so resulted in a fine, reported to be around $60,000 for the violation. In addition, this resulted in the Director's Guild passing a new rule, known as "the Eastwood Rule", which prohibits an actor or producer from firing the director and then personally taking on the director role. And people thought Eastwood only played an outlaw on-screen. Jokes on you! Stay tuned!