Here’s a personal note to Russ Lucas, who’s heading up to the Toronto Film Festival but couldn’t get tickets to Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn: You probably won’t be the only guy missing it, buddy. There was a rumor floating around over the weekend that has been getting more and more solidified that the film will not be making it to the festival, just as it did not make it to the Telluride festival.
When I spoke to Herzog in Vegas at the end of July (I swear to GOD this will get on the site in the next seven days or less), he said that the movie wasn’t quite finished yet, but that apparently isn’t what’s been keeping it out of the fests – The Hollywood Reporter’s Anne Thompson says that it’s money and legal issues: “Herzog said he couldn’t get the money to free the print from the lab. In Telluride, one distributor reported that he had screened and liked the movie, but the film was so tied up with multiple producers and accounting issues that it would be difficult to negotiate a sale.”
Rescue Dawn is a fictionalized spin on the story in Herzog’s documentary Little Deiter Needs to Fly, about a German-American pilot shot down over Laos in the Vietnam War and held captive. Christian Bale plays Deiter, and Herzog told me that he shows total commitment in the role.
Thompson reports that Herzog has flown to Toronto, feeling very zen and optimistic about Rescue Dawn being shown. I hope it does make the fest, and I hope that the film’s tangled issues don’t keep it from being bought – I’m dying to see it.