Lee Daniels has said he couldn’t watch Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain for 15 years because he wanted to direct it.

According to IndieWire, Daniels wanted to adapt Annie Proulx’s short story, but revealed how he couldn’t get his version of the story made.

“I was going to be directing Brokeback Mountain, Daniels said to Insider, according to IndieWire. “…It was going to be my second movie after Monster’s Ball…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 o make the movie.”

Daniels said he couldn’t watch the film when it was released because “I saw the movie in my head [and] the script was powerful.”

“I saw the entire film in my head because it was so powerful. So when Ang came out with it, I didn’t want to see it. Because I just didn’t think that he would do it justice. When [Jack and Ennis] first had sex in the tent, I saw that scene how I would direct it, so I just couldn’t imagine any other filmmaker doing it justice. Especially a straight filmmaker taking it on.”

When he finally saw Lee’s film, he said, “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.”

Daniels’ upcoming film The United States vs. Billie Holiday, starring Andra Day and Trevante Rhodes, is now looking for a distributor at Cannes.


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