Kiwi director's tough times revealed

Andrew Dominik on set during The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Photo / Supplied
Andrew Dominik on set during The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Photo / Supplied

Kiwi director Andrew Dominik struggled to find work after the release of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford because industry executives considered the Brad Pitt western a huge flop.

The 2007 drama, adapted from Ron Hansen's 1983 novel, was well-received by critics, but it failed to attract cinemagoers and barely recouped half of its US$30 million budget from ticket sales.

Pitt insisted both he and Dominik knew the critically-acclaimed project would stand the test of time despite its box office struggle, but it wasn't easy for the filmmaker to bounce back from the commercial failure.

Discussing the movie with his Snatch director Guy Ritchie for Interview magazine, Pitt said: "The Assassination of Jesse James remains one of my favourite films that I've done. You know, it's still labelled a loser.

"In fact, Dominik couldn't get a job for several years afterward because it got labelled that way after the opening weekend.

But then we always knew, 'That one's a fine-wine film. It's gonna age well'."

And Ritchie agrees: "It's interesting, because I have about 10 of my mates who I really trust creatively, and all of them - without any ambiguity at all - rank Jesse James in their top 10 films."

Pitt never lost faith in Dominik and they have since reteamed for their second movie together, new crime thriller Killing Them Softly, which has gone on to score rave reviews.

- WENN

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