In 1997, there was quite possibly no bigger female movie star than Sandra Bullock. Starting with her breakthrough role in Speed, Bullock enjoyed a string of acclaimed performances and box-office hits. (Yes, even The Net.) So when it came time to join Jason Patric — standing in for a too-busy Keanu Reeves — on a big boat in Speed 2: Cruise Control, Bullock used her clout to get her passion project off the ground.
In exchange for reprising her role as Speed‘s Annie Porter, Bullock convinced Twentieth Century Fox to do two things: Pay her $11 million dollars and finance Hope Floats.
(Bullock’s box office status allowed her to command a salary that was a
record-setter for actresses at the time.) Released a year after Speed 2, Hope Floats
was the first film Bullock produced and it further cemented her
place not just in the hearts of female moviegoers — but also in the industry. Her
production company, Fortis Films, went on to develop other
Bullock vehicles (Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality, the upcoming All About Steve) as well as the successful TV series George Lopez. Interestingly enough, Jason Patric followed Bullock’s lead, using his $8 million salary from Speed 2 to help finance the indie drama, Your Friends & Neighbors.
So the next time you reach for that hankie during Hope Floats, remember to thank a certain action film set on “cruise control.” For a full schedule of Hope Floats, click here.