That’s the trailer for Joe Lynch’s Knight of Badassdom, the LARPing comedy that took the 2011 ComicCon by storm, and has generally been a geek unicorn since its announcement. The film stars Steve Zahn (Treme), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Summer Glau (Serenity), Danny Pudi (Community), Margarita Levieva (Lincoln Lawyer) and Jimmi Simpson (Always Sunny) and the soon to be X-Men villain Peter Dinklage of Emmy-winning Game Of Thrones fame.
The problem has been that nary but a few peeps have been heard about the film since its thunderous debut at Hall H over a year-and-a-half ago. Even more ominous, if you’ve been watching twitter latetly, Joe Lynch has been tweeting the hashtag “#notmycut” over and over again.
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 2, 2013
This might confusing if the website Badassdom.com had not been loaded with an interesting, disheartening open letter from someone claiming to be a stakeholder in the film. The letter is foremost an indictment of Wade Bradley –the CEO of Knights Of Badassdom production company IndieVest– but also provides a detailed timeline of exactly what has happened to the film behind-the-scenes. The picture painted is of a man that has “gone rogue” and taken over the film, pushed the creatives out, recut it, run a company into the ground, and now seems to ready to ostensibly sacrifice the film at the altar of a new company.
Mr. Bradley set about editing KoB independently and in violation of his contract with director Joe Lynch per the Directors Guild of America Creative Rights Handbook. The most recent edit is roughly 70 minutes long and includes significant changes to the original story and concept.
Mr. Bradley began screening Knights of Badassdom to private audiences in various cities across the country as part of a promotion for Media Society. Mr. Bradley also solicited members of IndieVest for an additional $150,000 to be used to complete Knights of Badassdom… 18 months after his fundraising deadline.
Mr. Bradley scheduled a sales screening for his version of the film for March 25th, 2013, but–sensing growing pressure to return the film to Joe Lynch for completion–subsequently moved the screening to March 5th.
The letter involves a great deal of inside baseball, and there’s clearly some grudgefucking going on here. Who knows if Bradley is 100% monster that’s being described here, but it’s clear some nasty shit is up with Knights Of Badassdom, that director Joe Lynch and his team are not in control, and that a film with a great deal of potential is not being given its due. So having already been put on the chopping block, Knights of Badassdom is set to be screened and sold off in a bastardized form with no involvement from the filmmakers tomorrow, or so it appears.
I’ve asked Joe Lynch if he’s got any comment (the height of twitter-age investigative reporting, I know), and I’ll certainly update with any new details. He seems to be keeping quiet though, as I’m not the only one to have asked. If any details come, hopefully they’re much more positive…
(The film’s Facebook page.)