Studio chieftain Harvey Weinstein struck a devious blow to the dreams of fanboys everywhere when he decreed that cuts must be made to FANBOYS, a long awaited films about some, er, fans who sneak onto the Skywalker Ranch for a sneak peek at PHANTOM MENACE. One of them has cancer, making the beak-in a matter of great urgency. This film has been in the can for two years, and with the involvement of such now-well known players as Seth Rogen and Kristen Bell and delighted screenings at Comic-Con you’d think all would be well, right? Not so fast, says the Hollywood Reporter. The movie has lain frozen in carbonite while Weinstein demanded a recut:
Insiders said the root of the problem was Weinstein’s issue with the underlying story in “Fanboys.” The cross-country adventure is put in motion because one of the characters is facing cancer. Late last year, the company decided it would do reshoots, hiring Judd Apatow’s producing partner Shauna Robertson to oversee a $2 million reshoot of four scenes done by director Steve Brill (“Drillbit Taylor”). That, combined with re-editing, created a version that excised the cancer subplot.
“Harvey feels it’s hard to market, especially with this cast,” an insider said. “He wants to market to a more teen audience. The filmmakers wanted a dramedy along the vein of ‘Stand by Me.’ “
Usually cutting out cancer is a good thing, but not this time. Star Wars fans, led by the doughty legions of the 501st, struck back! Their cunning plan: an online call for a boycott of this weekend’s Weinstein & Co opener, the sure-looks-like-its wretched spoof SUPERHERO MOVIE. The threat hit home and to appease the Stormtroopers, Weinstein has promised to deliver the Director’s Cut on DVD. But this is still not enough.
“This is clearly a vain attempt by the Weinstein Co. to avert ‘Star Wars’ fans’ impending boycott of all of their films,” the group said. “It’s not going to work, Darth Weinstein. There was never any doubt that you would release both versions of the movie on DVD, probably months apart, so as to leech as much money from ‘Star Wars’ fans as possible. Our boycott will continue until the Weinstein Co. announces that they are returning control of ‘Fanboys’ to the ‘Star Wars’ fans who made it, releasing the original version in theaters and doing away with their anti-fan version of the film altogether.”
The company Monday acknowledged that it had received more than 300,000 e-mails, which factored in its decision.
The fans may have halted the empire for now, but their victory, like the Battle of the Death Star, is still only a staying move: FANBOYS is still without a release date and further reshoots are possible.
We say Weinstein and the test audiences are nuts. Have they never heard of BRIAN’S SONG or THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL? It’s all about the poignancy.