Jon Peters has had one of the most infamous and oddly-inspiring rises to power in Hollywood history. Once a hair-dresser bad boy who was supposedly the inspiration for Warren Beatty’s Shampoo, Peters somehow found himself as Barbara Streisand’s lover/producer on the hideous A Star is Born remake, and then a well-regarded producer who, along with Peter Guber, presided over classic 1980s blockbusters like Batman, Flashdance, and An American Werewolf in London. He also was the first guy to attempt to “reboot” Superman before that jargon existed in the 1990s… mind you his idea was to have Nicolas Cage with flowing locks to star in it while fighting a giant spider, but you know… he was still first!
Hence why after being essentially exiled from the industry following Superman Returns’ muted reception, the man who helped co-run Columbia Pictures into major losses during the early ‘90s remains a controversial figure. And in his latest profile piece with THR, that skepticism apparently spread all the way to Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder while making 2013’s Man of Steel.
While Jon Peters received an executive producer credit on Man of Steel, as well as a hefty paycheck along the liens of $10 and $15 million, it all came with one caveat: please, go away.
Indeed, according to Peters himself, he was banned directly by The Dark Knight director from the Man of Steel set.
“My reputation scares these guys,” Peters said of Nolan and the Man of Steel company. Still, he was able to brag about making, according to his assertions, close to nine-figures from his time with Clark Kent. “I have 7.5 percent of the gross,” Peters told THR. “Together they did [more than] a billion.” All told, Peters estimates he made in the ballpark of $85 million between Returns and Steel.
Peters’ history with superhero movies is legendary. Kevin Smith has made a small cottage industry retelling his infamous run-ins with Peters on the doomed ‘90s production, Superman Lives. Suggesting that Peters couldn’t read, wanted Sean Penn to play Superman, and refused to allow the flying superhero to actually fly, Peters didn’t necessarily leave a strong impression with the uber-fan. Then again, Peters doesn’t seem to mind what buttons he pushes, as he did just that for the generally left-leaning industry that reads THR.
In the fascinatingly bizarre article, he both brags about voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election and how he sees himself in the billionaire president-elect. “I am the Trump of Hollywood,” he boasts. Again, though, need we mention that during his short stint of running Columbia Pictures with Peter Guber, he helped drive the studio into $3 billion of debt? Part of that, according to THR, is due to the studio then billing expenses to Heidi Fleiss’ call girl service. So just keep that in mind, America.
But looking back at those heady days, Peters also now claims to have had a tumultuous affair with Kim Basinger during the production of Batman in 1988, which apparently made Michael Keaton jealous.
“Kim had a husband who was abusive,” Peters claims. “And one day I grabbed him, and she connected with me because I protected her, and we became friends and ended up having a big affair. Michael Keaton had the eye for Kim Basinger. I remember he got mad at me when she and I hooked up. He felt rejected ‘cause he was the star. He’s Batman. Yeah. I was a hairdresser who could talk to women. We lived together on the set. She helped me write the third act.”
That last bit about Peters writing the third act might be news to Sam Hamm, Tim Burton, and others who produced the original Dark Knight epic. Then again, if it’s not, maybe Snyder could’ve used Peters’ eye on his own extensive third act problems in Batman v Superman (which Peters received a substantially smaller paycheck on). You can ready why he got less on that film in the full profile here.