Robert De Niro, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Brad Pitt are three of the finest actors of the past few generations. Martin Scorsese has a near-spotless record as a director. A collaboration between the four men should be a cause for celebration, a dramatic tour de force, a piece of cinema for the ages. In reality, it's a $70 million ad for a ludicrously opulent casino and resort in a Chinese tax haven.
The movie is designed to advertise a casino in Macau
The Audition is a special short film commissioned to commemorate the opening of the $3.2 billion Studio City resort in Macau and a similar casino run by the same company in the Philippines' capital city of Manila. A teaser trailer for the movie released earlier this week explains its conceit — the Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese has invited his two favorite leading men to the casinos to make them vie for the leading role in an upcoming movie. If the movie happens to show off the extravagant architecture and luxurious furnishings of the new venues, so much the better.
The full cut of the short film will premiere at the official launch of Studio City in mid-2015. X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner, who helped produce the short movie, called The Audition a historic event. It could certainly be a historic paycheck for its stars — SlashFilm reports that each actor was rumored to have made over $10 million for their performances. It could've been particularly easy work for Brad Pitt, who only appears in the trailer in the form of a set of still images, plastered onto the side of a casino wall.