Over the past decade I have met dozens of people in the film business on the press side, from behind the lens, in front of it, or in one of the many positions along the way that make up the business entire. Some have been pleasant, some impossible to deal with, and a select few have inspired in ways that make life the mysterious and sometimes wonderful journey Hallmark seems to think it is.
Of those, Lloyd Levin is at the very top of the list of honest, available, creative, and genuinely GOOD people working in the film business. The very top. This is a man I’d jump into a fiery abyss for, and someone who had made my personal journey (more a hell thus far, but I’d like to think I’m stronger for it) through this business one worth taking.
If you didn’t know, Lloyd and I were, are, and will be involved in Meg for as long as it takes to get made (I think we’re near the five year mark at this point, which is not even close to being a record in the development hell side of making movies) as well working on getting House of Re-Animator made and on to our current project Runoff. Over the past five years he has been a mentor, friend, and sounding board of untold value. I’ve been able to learn from his experiences on both Hellboy movies, United 93, Green Zone, and Watchmen about the way Hollywood works (and doesn’t).
There is no bullshit in this man, and I’ve been paying attention to all this Watchmen legal nonsense with a wary eye, knowing who the good guy is and how typical it is to see how the business side of show business rears its ugly head in the oddest ways, with the weirdest motivations, and oftentimes with the least noble intent.
Lloyd called me earlier today to chat about some upcoming plans and to tell me that he’d sent Drew McWeeny an open letter about the Watchmen issue to air his side of things. Something from the heart and out in the open, which is atypical in this industry so concerned with keeping mum the opinions and sometimes politically incorrect truths out there.
Drew ran the piece a short while ago HERE, an important excerpt of which lies below. It’s very interesting and consistent from what I know about Lloyd’s passion on the project since day one. Before it was Zack Snyder’s film, it was a labor of love from Lloyd and his partner Larry Gordon. Here’s hoping justice is served.
From my point of view, the flashpoint of this dispute,
came in late spring of 2005. Both Fox and Warner Brothers were offered
the chance to make Watchmen. They were submitted the same package, at
the same time. It included a cover letter describing the project and
its history, budget information, a screenplay, the graphic novel, and
it made mention that a top director was involved.
And it’s at this point, where the response from both parties could not have been more radically different.
response we got from Fox was a flat “pass.” That’s it. An internal Fox
email documents that executives there felt the script was one of the
most unintelligible pieces of shit they had read in years. Conversely,
Warner Brothers called us after having read the script and said they
were interested in the movie – yes, they were unsure of the screenplay,
and had many questions, but wanted to set a meeting to discuss the
project, which they promptly did. Did anyone at Fox ask to meet on the
movie? No. Did anyone at Fox express any interest in the movie? No.
Express even the slightest interest in the movie? Or the graphic novel?
Read the whole thing here. It’s fresh, honest, hearthbreaking, and infuriating.