Nicolas Cage, ‘Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin, ‘Taxi Driver’ writer Paul Schrader and ‘Drive’ helmsman Nicolas Winding Refn don’t want you to see their latest film, ‘Dying Of The Light’.
In fact, the foursome have launched a Facebook campaign against the movie, asking that movie-goers consider their stance before going to see it.
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But because there are clearly thorny legal issues surrounding the movie, they’ve had to go about their protest in a somewhat unusual fashion.
In a statement, Schrader, who also co-wrote ‘Raging Bull’, said: “We lost the battle. ‘Dying of the Light’, a film I wrote and directed, was taken away from me, reedited, scored and mixed without my input. Yesterday Grindstone (a division of Lionsgate) released the poster and the trailer. They are available on line. Here we are, Nick Cage, Anton Yelchin, Nic Refn and myself, wearing our ‘non-disparagement’ T shirts. The non-disparagement clause in an artist’s contract gives the owners of the film the right to sue the artist should the owner deem anything the artist has said about the film to be ‘derogatory’. I have no comment on the film or others connected with the picture.”
They all appear on the Facebook page sporting the same t-shirt, which is emblazoned with the following, legal-ease statement:
“No publicity issued by artist or lender, whether personal publicity or otherwise, shall contain derogatory mention of company, the picture, or the services of artist or others connected with the picture.”
So they’re protesting, but without saying the ability to say anything derogatory about the movie, to avoid legal action.
Well, sort of yes.
Earlier this year, Schrader revealed that he’d been locked out of the edit for his movie, with executive producer Winding Refn siding with Schrader, accusing the company of ‘artistic disrespect’.
Refn said at the time that Cage was also ‘very frustrated because, in his mind, he and Paul made a great movie that both of them are very proud of - and for that to be taken away from them, it doesn’t make any sense’.
In the company’s defence, producer Gary Hirsch told Variety at the time: “We made suggestions, which Paul to a large extent didn’t approve of, and so he refused to make the changes that we all wanted, despite the fact that the changes we were looking for were very much in line with the script that he wrote and shot.
“Paul’s cut of the movie deviated substantially from his own script. It was a completely different movie from the movie that was greenlit, the movie that was discussed and the movie that was shot.”
The movie, which was originally set to star Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum, follows a CIA agent who suffers blindness on a last mission with his protege.