Jeremy Piven At Center of 'Entourage' Drama?

Given all of the things I've heard about this guy during my few years working as an entertainment writer, this is not surprising at all. According to a new article in The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Piven was the reason for all that Entourage pay drama, because his contract for the film promised him a substantially higher paycheck than the other guys — despite the show being an ensemble. From THR:

Piven, who won three straight Emmys playing the agent based on WME's Ari Emanuel on the HBO comedy, closed his deal for the Warner Bros. movie in early October. But negotiations with co-stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon have become heated in part because they want pay more comparable with Piven's. [...] Warners is adamant about keeping the Entourage movie budget below $30 million, prompting producers Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg to hold the line.

It certainly does fall in line with what Adrian Grenier likely meant in that cryptic Instagram post earlier this week: "I will sign any deal that gives ALL the boys an opportunity to share in the upside of success EQUALLY." It also fits with Mark Wahlberg's statements last week about the movie not being made until the guys "stop being so greedy" — if Wahlberg was tasked with keeping the budget below $30 million, and the guys were asking for more money, it would make sense that he'd say that.

Though it's not clear if the issue has been settled — Connolly did comment that the movie was happening yesterday, but this hasn't been confirmed by any studios — we gotta ask: Even if it has been, at this point, should this movie even happen anymore? The show wasn't exactly at its prime around the end, and though the ratings were good for an HBO comedy, the show wasn't receiving the amount of attention that flashier dramas like True Blood was at the time. When Sex and the City got a movie (that was a surprise hit in theaters), it was coming off of huge ratings in the series finale, with 10.6 million viewers having tuned in to see Carrie Bradshaw's story wrap up. Entourage scored about 3.1 million. With all of this pay drama, not to mention the fact that everyone seems to have lost the whole concept of what the show was actually about — bro-hood, and friendship — what's the point?

If the movie is still happening, though, THR notes it needs to be soon: Production needs to begin by January 2014 if producers still want to qualify for a California tax credit.