I’m on the record as being no fan of the Fanboys script, and I
certainly agree with what seems to be the prevailing wisdom at the
Weinstein Co – that a movie about a kid dying of cancer who breaks into
Lucasfilm to see Episode I early is the filmic equivalent of a kitten
in a box being run over by a semi (what’s more depressing – dying of
cancer or remembering the first time you saw Episode I?) – but
Cinematical’s revelations of their dirty tricks employed to force an
edit of the movie sickens me.
First of all, the site confirms what we’ve all heard: Kyle Newman has
been fired from the movie and Steve Brill, auteur behind Without A
Paddle (and the upcoming Apatow film Drillbit Taylor, scarily enough)
was brought in to bend the film to the wishes of the Weinsteins. But
they go further and claim that the recent test screenings of the film –
a version with cancer and a version without cancer were shown –
included plants in the audience who were there to skew the test
screening numbers. What’s funny is that even with plants (and the
inclusion of nudity and more swearing), the Brill version of Fanboys
only scored two points higher than the Newman version.
Test screenings are bad enough, but if the studio is going to game the
system, why even bother having them? Just dictate your vision to the
director – put it in their contracts. The Weinstein boys remain as
crazy and controlling as ever, even as their new studio continues to
sink away into obscurity (they’re racing New Line to the bottom of the
tar pit, it seems), but the level of dishonesty on display here is low,
even for these guys.
At this point I wonder if this movie will ever even be released. I
floated that question by a Weinstein rep at Sundance and didn’t get
anything solid by way of an answer. The Weinsteins spent 2 million
extra dollars on the reshoots and re-edits, so you have to imagine
they’re going to want to do something with this film. This summer we’ll
see if Fanboys comes to San Diego Comic Con for the fourth year in a
row, or if it just floats away to be dumped on DVD.