Jerry Weintraub made his last Hollywood industry-related public appearance at HBO’s premiere of the Jack Black and Tim Robbins comedy “The Brink” on the Paramount Studios lot on June 8, 2015. Weintraub died in Santa Barbara of heart failure on Monday, July 6. He was 77.
At that premiere, the super-producer behind classics like “The Karate Kid,” “Vegas Vacation,” and “The Oceans Eleven,” who also worked with musicians like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Denver, cracked a joke about his own mortality and long career.
“I only have one favor to ask HBO,” Weintraub said before HBO’s familiar static logo credit rolled at the premiere that night.
He went on to reveal that a story in the June 5 edition of the Los Angeles Times about “Nashville”, the Robert Altman film he produced 43 years ago, made him cry.
“What I want you to do for me (HBO executive) Nancy (Lesser), 43 years from now when they write about ‘The Brink’ in the L.A. Times calendar section, make sure you come over the hillside and show it to me.”
Listen to all 3 minutes of Jerry Weintraub‘s final premiere speech in the video above.
That night of “The Brink” premiere just a few weeks before his death, he spent time with TV Academy CEO Bruce Rosenbloom in a banquette, snapped photos with Carla Gugino, and walked the fighter-jet adorned blue carpet in sneakers. In the prime table facing guests entering the VIP dome that night, he seemed amused by the fake silver grenades that served as military-themed ornaments on every table.
“The Brink” as told by Weintraub: From Spago Lunch to HBO Greenlight In Less Time than a Wolfgang Puck Monologue
When “The Brink” Director-Executive Producer Roach said he really wanted to do a half hour comedy over lunch with Weintraub at Spago, Weintraub said “Don’t move.”
The “Karate Kid” producer called up his office (“next door to Spago,” he said) and gave Roach the script to read. “Jay takes a long time to make up his mind usually,” Weintraub said.
“I’ve never read something and committed to it more quickly,” Roach told TheWrap before the screening.
It must have been contagious. HBO greenlit “The Brink” to series 45 miuntes after seeing the pilot.
“I don’t do TV,” Roach said earnestly. “So I didn’t know if that was unusual. ‘Is that normal?’ and (the team) said ‘No, that’s not normal. It’s pretty amazing’.
Unusual by TV (and film) premiere standards, but default for HBO, a canopy of lush décor, plush banquettes, and food you would only find in the officers’ club (lobster mac and cheese, prime rib) greeted the 500 guests that night.