8:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Todd Garner's Producers Podcast Makes a Comeback Amid Virus Outbreak
Todd Garner is back on the airwaves.
Last September, the veteran studio executive turned producer announced on Instagram that he was pressing pause on his popular The Producer’s Guide podcast (on the PodcastOne network) after taking a closer look at his Broken Road Prods. slate. He had more than a handful of films and TV projects that would require full-time attention and a travel schedule that would require five months in Australia filming Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat. (He’s also got Marc Meyers’ All My Life for Universal; the Hulu comedy Vacation Friends directed by Clay Tarver starring John Cena; two TV series at Netflix and a project with 20th Century Fox, to name a few.) “I was so slammed that I couldn’t give everything the attention that I wanted,” Garner tells Rambling Reporter. “The tide turned and I had some luck in getting films and TV shows made, so I had to walk the walk and go full time on these productions.”
Garner felt that by closing it out with producer Chris Bender talking about fear, “I’d ended on a good note and said all I needed to say.” He originally launched the podcast in March 2018 with an exclusive interview with longtime friend and collaborator Adam Sandler, who, at that pre-Uncut Gems time, did not have a habit of sitting for extensive discussions about his life or career. Since then, his guests have included insiders like Michael De Luca, Neal Moritz, Jon M. Chu, Netflix’s Krista Smith, Jeff Probst, Nina Jacobson, Jason Blum, Robert Greenblatt, Rebel Wilson and Erik Feig.
When coronavirus pandemic brought Hollywood productions to an unprecedented halt, Garner found himself at home in L.A. wondering what the future would hold for the business. “I felt the anxiety rising, and I thought, 'If I’m feeling scared a lot of people must be feeling the same way so why not use the podcast as a tool to talk to some people about it as a way of processing. His first guests since landing at home — recorded from the master bedroom of his Brentwood home with the guests calling in via Skype — have included a series of retreads with Moritz, John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk, Wall Street Journal editor Ben Fritz, top UTA agent Jason Heyman, and new guests like comedian and actor and host Bert Kreischer, and showrunner Jeff Lowell.
Asked to offer his take on the town’s temperature amid the global crisis that has shuttered movie theaters, sporting events and all public gatherings, Garner describes it as a swinging pendulum of anger, fear, hope and concern for the safety of casts, crews and peers. “Most of the people have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to make sure everybody is healthy, and from there on we will figure out what the new thing is. Of course, we can’t wait to start telling stories again.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.