Earlier today we posted a little story about how Star Wars fans were planning on protesting the upcoming Weinstein Co/Dimension release Superhero Movie when it hits theaters this friday in defense of the mess that is Fanboys. You know the story behind Fanboys — first it was brilliant, then it was going to be recut to remove the film’s major story line, which involved one of the characters having cancer.
This afternoon, we received word from The Weinstein Company that the fanboys had won — or so it may seem. The studio sent out a press release saying that Fanboys was going to get a joint-DVD release, one with the cancer storyline and one without. It also explains that the company is “exploring options for its theatrical release.” — in other words, the film’s chances of theatrical release are pretty much dead. And if you want to see both versions of the movie, you might have to buy two separate DVDs.
Matthew Frankel, Chief Communications Officer at The Weinstein Company also commented in the release:
“Over the last few weeks we have received a tremendous amount of input from Star Wars fans nationwide. While the later version tested very well with audiences, the grassroots support we have received for the first version simply cannot be ignored. We are very excited to launch these two films and look forward to giving the fans the opportunity to see both versions.”
Do you recognize that? That is corporate spin at work. The Weinstein Company is spinning the situation, using the publicity of protests to say that Star Wars fans have won, when in reality they have lost. This is just an excuse to kill the theatrical release of Fanboys and run it straight to DVD. Fans have expected that both versions would be on the DVD release, but there was also still hope of a theatrical run — and not a theatrical run of the Steve Brill’s version (the one without the cancer story).
So for fans of Fanboys, this is definitely not a win. It is the loss of a theatrical release, the loss of about $15 (thanks to two versions of the film on DVD) and the loss of hope, thanks to the continued release of movies like Superhero Movie en lieu of films like Fanboys. But here lies your chance fanboys, to continue to strike out at The Weinstein Company. I say, keep the protest going! Do you want both versions of the film on DVD, or do you want to see Kyle Newman’s original cut in theaters? If enough people continue to speak out, maybe it will get released in theaters — but at this point, I doubt it. Darth Weinstein has spoken.