“My film about angels belongs to the devil himself,” Smith said. “Sell me back my self-expression.”
Kevin Smith reveals what really happened to the rights to his hit 1999 film Dogma.
The religious satire starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock and Alan Rickman is currently being “held hostage” by producer Harvey Weinstein, according to the filmmaker. The film isn’t available to stream online or buy digitally, while rare Blu-rays sell for around $100.
“Unfortunately, to tell the story, I have to say the name that no one wants to hear anymore. But of course Harvey Weinstein has a part to play in the story,” Smith told The Wrap when asked about the fate of the box office and critical success Dogma.
After then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner Smith allegedly told him not to do “Dogma” because it was “too hot stuff” to make a movie, Weinstein gave the film the green light anyway, eventually selling it to himself and releasing it the film about his company Shining Excalibur.
Smith said Weinstein only made “Dogma” because he knew he “could make a shiny Excalibur with it at the end of the day, and since Disney was paying for it whether he had to pay it back or not, it would be up to him to do it.” make the film and deal with the consequences later.”
Distributor Lionsgate handled the theatrical release, with Columbia/TriStar owning the home video rights for a limited time before “the rights lapsed,” according to Smith. Years later, when The Weinstein Company was “rebuilding and making the almost Miramax version” of itself, Smith claimed his film was a “complete afterthought.”
“I don’t even mean a thought, to be honest. I don’t think he realized he still owned that movie,” the Clerks star explained. “I don’t think he realized it was pulled from public distribution or anything.”
Smith’s last feature film with Weinstein was Zack and Miri Make a Porno in 2008. Ten years later, Weinstein Smith called “out of the blue” to present a “Dogma” TV series or sequel.
“All the people who were there are still there, so we can make a pretty good sequel or series even better,” Smith said. “And I was really excited because I was like, ‘Oh my god, for the first time. The guy remembered me. For example, after a decade he remembered that I was part of the Miramax family. And he remembered he had ‘Dogma’ and a cool cast and I don’t know, I felt like wow, that’s, that’s cool.”
A week later, The New York Times published the investigative report, which claimed Weinstein had raped and assaulted dozens of women.
Smith recalled being “really excited” at the prospect of “Dogma” being revisited, but then felt “disgusting and disgusting” after the allegations against Weinstein (The former mega-producer was later convicted of rape and sentenced to 23 years sentenced to prison).
Smith recalled telling producer and former Miramax executive John Gordon that Weinstein had contacted him prior to the NYT exposé. Per Smith, Gordon told him that Weinstein “called everyone because he knew the story was coming. And he wanted to find out who was speaking [to the New York Times].”
“I thought, ‘That makes perfect sense,'” Smith recalled. “I’m unsuspecting, I don’t see all angles. He didn’t call because he wanted to do anything with ‘dogma’. He wanted to see if I was one of the people who spoke to the New York Times. I didn’t have that because I didn’t know about all that stuff.”
Smith previously claimed Weinstein refused to pay royalties for “Clerks,” a total of seven years before he could see profits from the now-classic feature that fueled a trilogy.
Years after interacting with Weinstein in 2017, Smith was informed that a new “Dogma” DVD had been released and that Weinstein was attempting to sell the rights to the film for $5 million, prompting Smith to admit the film ” overrated”. Weinstein’s attorneys contact Smith’s attorneys asking him to be involved in the re-release.
“Please tell this company that if he’s still attached to it, I will have nothing to do with it,” Smith said at the time. “I work on a ‘dogma’ anything as long as he’s no longer attached to it.”
Smith also attempted to buy back the rights to the film, “which we felt very dirty about because we didn’t want to give him any money,” he added.
“But at the same time, it’s like my movie and he has it,” Smith said. “He’s holding it hostage. My film about angels belongs to the devil himself. And if there is only one way out, maybe we could buy it away.”
Weinstein “sneered” at Smith’s two $5 million offers, the filmmaker said.
“Look, I love ‘Dogma’ as much as anyone, but a) I don’t have $5 million and b) it’s not what the market is for anymore,” Smith said. “We live in a streaming era. Last I heard another company said they wouldn’t sell me my film back. I thought what else can I do? There is not much. You can make a public stink, but I don’t think this guy reads the news anymore.”
Smith speculated Weinstein created “another shell company” to sell “Dogma,” claiming a “new company” had it.
“My film about heaven is in limbo,” said the Chasing Amy director. “What sucks is that he puts his fat ass on my film too. And the right thing would have been to sell it back to me, even if you didn’t want to sell it at the price I first said. Tell us what that price is and sell me back my self-expression.”
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/09/kevin-smith-harvey-weinstein-holding-dogma-hostage-1234764054/ Kevin Smith: Harvey Weinstein is holding ‘Dogma’ ‘hostage’