Lee Daniels Couldn’t Watch ‘Brokeback Mountain’ For 15 Years After Having To Turn Down The Chance To Direct It

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels Couldn’t Watch ‘Brokeback Mountain’ For 15 Years After Having To Turn Down The Chance To Direct It

Empire creator Lee Daniels recently shared that he was the initial director of the critically-acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain. However, he had to eventually pass on the Oscar-winning project for financial reasons.  While speaking with Insider Lee Daniels said, 

“It was a very expensive piece to keep and I simply couldn’t get the movie made. Nobody wanted to see the movie, nobody wanted to make the movie. And I had to let it go.” 

The movie eventually went to film director Ang Lee, who won his first best director Oscar for the work he did on the project.  Brokeback Mountain is a film about two cowboys who have a hidden romantic relationship. It stars American actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal

Brokeback Mountain was planned to have been Lee Daniels’s director debut following his producing debut for the film Monster Ball starring Halle Berry (which. landed the actress her first Academy Award). After he had to pass on Brokeback Mountain the film Shawodboxer became his directorial debut. 

Brokeback Mountain went on to win a total of 3 out of the 8 Oscars the film was nominated for. However, even though it was well-received by the academy, Lee Daniels said it took him more than 10 years to finally sit down and watch the film. 

“I couldn’t watch the film when it came out. I saw the movie in my head, the script was powerful. I saw the entire film in my head because it was so powerful.”

He continued, 

“I saw it, like, 15 years later and Ang Lee did a really great job. As a matter of fact, he did it in a way that was palatable for many heterosexuals around the world. I would have probably been more in your face with it, and he did it in a different perspective, so kudos to him. And I told him that.”

What are your thoughts on Lee Daniels taking 15 years to watch Brokeback Mountain? Let us know in the comments.

Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel