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Young Men with Unlimited Capital: Brat Pack label immediately killed Emilio Estevez / Andrew McCarthy film

Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy were to follow St. Elmo’s Fire with Young Men with Unlimited Capital, but the Brat Pack label killed it

Young Men with Unlimited Capital: Brat Pack label immediately killed Emilio Estevez / Andrew McCarthy film

Back in 1985, Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy shared the screen in the Joel Schumacher-directed coming-of-age film St. Elmo’s Fire, which was a box office hit that’s still remembered fondly to this day, even though the critical response wasn’t very positive. In the build-up to the release of that film, Estevez and McCarthy were set to co-star in another project, called Young Men with Unlimited Capital… but unfortunately, eighteen days before the release of St. Elmo’s Fire, New York Magazine published an article by David Blum in which Blum dubbed several of the hottest young actors of the day the Brat Pack. The actors mentioned in that article were shocked and offended by the Brat Pack label – so much that Estevez refused to do Young Men with Unlimited Capital with McCarthy, killing the project. Thirty-nine years later, the story of Young Men with Unlimited Capital has still never made it to the screen.

The death of Young Men with Unlimited Capital is mentioned in the recently released Brats, which was directed by McCarthy. Streaming on Hulu, Brats “looks at the iconic films of the 1980s that shaped a generation and the narrative that took hold when their young stars were branded the “Brat Pack.” McCarthy reunites with his fellow Brat Packers — friends, colleagues and former foes, including Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson and Timothy Hutton, many of whom he had not seen for over 30 years — to answer the question: What did it mean to be part of the Brat Pack? McCarthy also sits down for a first-time conversation with writer David Blum, who fatefully coined the term Brat Pack in a 1985 New York Magazine cover story.”

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McCarthy goes to visit Estevez in Brats, and during their talk Estevez mentions (with thanks to USA Today for the transcription of their conversation), “You and I didn’t do a movie because of (the Brat Pack article),” adding that it had “one of the best scripts I had read in a long time.

McCarthy replies, “You were going to do it, and they wanted me to do it too, and then they told me that you didn’t want me to do it. It hurt my feelings a lot. But I just assumed it was simply the Brat Pack fallout.

Estevez confirmed, “I didn’t want to have anything to do with any of us. If it were Judd (Nelson), I would have said the same thing.

It’s a shame it didn’t happen, as Young Men with Unlimited Capital sounds like it had the makings of a great film – especially with Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy in the lead roles. Based on a book that was published in 1974, it would have told “the inside story of the legendary Woodstock Festival” from the perspective of the two people who paid for it. The book has the following description: It started with an ad, placed by Joel Rosenman and John Roberts as a way to find interesting work after college. It led Rosenman and Roberts to stage a gathering that changed the face of popular culture: the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969. Woodstock is rightly remembered as the pivotal event that united a generation, but the behind-the-scenes story is less utopian–and absolutely fascinating.
Rosenman and Roberts describe their shock as they realized, after a long struggle to find a site and placate area residents, that the festival was attracting a crowd ten times larger than expected, stalling traffic for miles around, and forcing thousands of ticket holders to be turned away. The instant city of Woodstock created mind-boggling logistical problems for Rosenman and Roberts: mud, shortages of food, water, and medical help, a death, births, bad drugs–and waking up their local banker in the middle of the night to get $15,000 for The Who and the Grateful Dead, who refused to go onstage without cash in their pockets. By the time Jimi Hendrix played “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 6:30 Monday morning, there were “only” 25,000 people left, but Rosenman and Roberts faced a sea of mud and trash, irate neighbors, bad press (“Nightmare in the Catskills”), staggering debts, and some seventy separate legal proceedings against them. But the ultimate impact of that weekend was far greater-and far more triumphal for all involved. Young Men with Unlimited Capital is both an amazing and humorous story, and one that chronicles a defining event of 1960s America.

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Does Young Men with Unlimited Capital sound like an Emilio Estevez / Andrew McCarthy ’80s collaboration that deserved to make it to the screen? What do you think of the fact that it crumbled simply because of the Brat Pack article? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

St. Elmo's Fire
Young Men with Unlimited Capital: Brat Pack label immediately killed Emilio Estevez / Andrew McCarthy film

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