There have been a number of stories written in the last few days about Owen Wilson and how the rough times he’s going through personally are affecting the movie’s that are either coming out shortly or had planned to have a role in. I was asked for my thoughts on this issue, specifically as it relates to the marketing of The Darjeeling Limited, for a piece in Newsweek and you can read that story, complete with a quote from me, right here.
The quote that was selected was probably the best one I made in the 20 minutes or so the writer and I chatted. The larger point is that Wilson is very much tied with director Wes Anderson in terms of press coverage and fan perception. The two – along with brother Luke Wilson – have become known as such a team that what happens to one of them has ripple effects on the others. That’s what I mean when I say the removal of Wilson from the publicity mix can impact the “brand identity” of the movie. He and Anderson make up the movie’s brand image and play integral parts in its perpetuation.
I fully acknowledge that it’s a little crass to be talking about such matters when someone is going through something obviously serious. We may not know yet what the real problem is but I hope that Wilson is given the opportunity to heal both his body and his soul in the weeks and months ahead. But the reality of the situation is that he’s got movies that he was/is expected to promote and that’s going to be an issue.