Hasn’t Guy Ritchie suffered enough? The man who put his wife, Madonna in a remake of Swept Away and turned his career as a director from “up and coming” to a near joke, has by all accounts returned to form with RocknRolla. The director made a splash with Lock, Stock and Barrel and Snatch. RocknRolla is in the same vein as the films that got Ritchie attention. But will anyone see it?
The film’s producer Joel Silver has been shopping the film which has a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Why? It seems Warner Bros. no longer believes in the film and feels it has too many films on its hands so has pulled back from a wide distribution of RocknRolla. They appear poised to abandon the film. According to Warner’s chief Alan Horn:
“I think it’s a well-made picture, but while it’s funny in spots, it’s very English,”
Did Alan Horn see any of Ritchie’s films before Warner Bros. agreed to distribute RocknRolla? What did they think they’d signed on to distribute?
Does the audience who would like to see the film have to be denied the opportunity by the Warner Bros. machine? Does every film that gets wide release have to have a superhero in it? If the cast were wearing capes and masks would RocknRolla get the wide release it deserves?
The cast includes Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkenson and the hot property Gerard Butler. Yes, they’re English, but hey there’s Ludacris and Jeremy Priven who are Americans! Real Americans in a very English film, how about that?
I’ll get to see the film because I live just outside NYC and the film will open in NYC. But there are people who like Ritchie’s earlier films and who don’t live near the paltry 800 screens that are now planned for RocknRolla.
What’s particularly odd about this new attitude towards the film is it was showcased with a panel at last month’s Comic-Con. It seems to me if a film could have a panel at Comic-Con the belief had to be that there was an audience for it out there.
It appears to me Warner Bros. is making the mistake of not seeing there’s audiences hungry for something other than big action films, superheroes and mindless comedies. There’s a place for many different kinds of films and the studio should put some muscle behind Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla.
So, here’s the awful truth. Every time a studio executive decides to dump this kind of film, a very English film dies unseen. Clap your hands, make your voices heard. Don’t let RocknRolla die!
Are you interested in seeing RocknRolla?