You may recall Knights of Baddasdom. It's the heavy metal fantasy comedy about LARPers taking on a real demon. Peter Dinklage is in it, and so is Summer Glau. Steve Zahn has a great role and Ryan Kwanten is the lead. I've written about it many, may times before. It looks like this:
Well, tomorrow, the long-shelved film is being screened for potential distributors. At least approximately.
Director Joe Lynch finished his director's cut of the film back in July of 2011. Days later, he took part in a panel at Comic-Con and premiered the trailer. The panel was a crowd pleaser, the trailer went off like gangbusters and the future looked bright.
But then somebody cut the lights, stuffed Lynch's film into a sack, dragged it away from him and hacked it up. That somebody was Wade Bradley, the CEO of Indivest, the film's production company. But he wasn't actually entitled to do this, no matter what his business card says.
A new site, sitting at the badassdom.com domain, goes into some depth about what happened. What Bradley did. Why this man deserves your boos and rotten tomatoes.
I'll repeat some of the bullet points from their story, picking up after the Comic-Con panel.
- Mr. Bradley forcibly removed Mark Burton (president of IndieVest Pictures and producer of KoB) and Matt Wall (writer for KoB) from IndieVest citing cost overruns on the picture as the reason for their departure despite having personally approved all expenses related to KoB.
- 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 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.
So that screening is tomorrow.
The short of it is, Bradley bankrupted IndieVest, hijacked the film against his contractual rights, has hacked the film up and is now trying to sell on this castrated, lobotomised version.
Joe Lynch has been tweeting, repeatedly, with the hashtag #notmycut. Perhaps the key tweet was:
For those who have asked, let me be VERY clear…
The way to fight back, I think, is to make this common knowledge. By passing this news around, there's actually a good chance that Joe Lynch could be reinstated to finish post production the way he wanted it.
There's no need for a Kickstarter here. Just a lot of Tweets, blogposts and Facebook updates. A barrage of social media activity, a storm of disapproval in the cloud. If any potential distributor can see that what the audience wants – that same audience that were excited by the Comic-Con panel back in 2011- is the film that Lynch wanted to make, not some dumbed-down version, then there's hope for Knights of Badassdom to be put back on track.
Lynch's director's cut is complete all bar the final rub of varnish. That version could be screened. That version could be bought for distribution. That version could be the one playing in cinemas and then released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Here's hoping that nobody goes into the screening tomorrow uninformed…