Megan Ellison, of Annapurna Productions, Is Your Favorite Producer You've Never Heard Of
If you enjoy movies at all, there's a good chance that you've seen more than one movie made by Hollywood's No. 1 girl power force without even knowing it.
The daughter of billionaire Larry Ellison, 27-year-old Megan Ellison, creeped onto the Hollywood scene in 2006, making brave (or unwise, depending on your perspective) investments in a few projects that ended up flopping at the box office despite high-profile cast members. Since then, she's created Annapurna Pictures, a company that pitches itself as a Hollywood financing group that creates "sophisticated, high-quality films that might otherwise be considered risky by traditional Hollywood studios," and has produced such badass films as Lawless, True Grit, The Master, Killing Them Softly, Zero Dark Thirty, and Spring Breakers.
Ellison has had her fair share of critics since becoming a key player on the Hollywood scene, and they often discuss her status as the daughter of the third-richest man in America or express concern that her self-claimed interest in "innovative" movies is code for wanting to produce trendy movies and make celebrity friends along the way. As facts go, her most recent films have been some of the most controversial and "hip" of the past few years, and have made her some pretty high-profile friends (rumors from the Zero Dark Thirty set are that Ellison and Jessica Chastain would order pizza and watch GoT after shooting.) But Ellison's critics are ignoring the obvious genius behind her work in order to pick on her (pretty natural) desire to make popular movies and pig out with Oscar-winning actresses.
In most cases, Annapurna productions are movies that foresaw creative conflicts with backers and were able to reach their full potential solely because of Ellison's support. The creators of Zero Dark Thirty didn't want financing that was in any way connected to the government, The Master had too much to say about religion to be associated with just any company, and I can't even imagine who else would have had the balls to put money into Spring Breakers. Regardless of Megan Ellison's connections and inheritance, every bold move she makes is one small step for fascinating filmmaking and one giant leap for women in Hollywood. Here's hoping that her movies only get crazier and more provocative — and that she invites us next time she and Chastain are ordering a pizza.