Avi Lerner: I Was Wrong About ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

Avi Lerner: I Was Wrong About 'Wolf of Wall Street'

“I didn't want to make a movie about a guy … who did so many bad things,” says the veteran producer who was approached about backing the movie

Avi Lerner, the founder of Millennium Films and Nu Image Entertainment, admits that he made a mistake when it came to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” director Martin Scorsese’s edgy look at the sex-and-drug-filled 1980s stock market boom.

“They came to me about six or seven years ago,” he told TheWrap. “I rejected it because I didn’t want to make or see a movie about such a negative guy, who did so many bad things.”

Also read: Academy Overrules Producers Guild, Gives Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Credits

The film is based on the book of the same name by Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who stole millions of dollars from investors in sham deals. The explicit portrayals of sex and drug use, coupled with what some see as an ambiguous stance on the morality of the main character (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio), has made the movie a lightning rod for criticism.

Also read: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Delivers Martin Scorsese's Best European Box-Office Openings

But the $100 million “Wolf” has been a hit with critics (77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and worked at the box office, despite its R-rating. It’s made $91 million domestically for distributor Paramount, and has added another $77 million from overseas so far.

“I think because of the genius of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio,” said Lerner, the veteran action movie producer behind “The Expendables” franchise “that I've been proven wrong,”

  • Justiceseeker

    Yes it is true. Hollywood continues it's fight against feminism, individuality and sex equality with it's continued censorship of lovely transgender lady artists. Film industry cover up news department: Bralalalala, the award winning transgender singer has been widely censored in the media despite prevailing at trial against the Amazing Spider Man, Iron Man, Django Unchained et al supervising art director for sexual assault , libel and intentional infliction of emotion distress of the singer. The directors despicable cross suit against the singer for being his victim was also dismissed.