I haven’t devoted much coverage to the back and forth over Fanboys. In case you’re wondering, Fanboys is a movie set in 1998 about a bunch of friends who, since one of them might die before Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace comes out, decide to try and sneak into Lucasfilm in order to give him his moment of prequel pleasure prior to passing.
The movie has, to say the least, languished after being bought up by The Weinstein Company. There was some discussion a while ago that TWC had commissioned new footage to be shot that would eliminate the depressing death story arc and make it more a rambunctious comedy. The folks who were looking forward to the movie were aghast and a bit of protest followed.
The center point of their outrage is Stop Darth Weinstein, a site that’s looking to channel emotions and provide place for fans to vent. There’s also a protest being organized at two locations to boycott TWC’s Superhero Movie when it opens this weekend.
Now TWC says that two versions of the movie will be released on DVD, the original and the re-shot one, and it’s looking into releasing two versions theatrically as well. This has not satisfied fans, though, who say the announcement is just a move to try and kill the boycotts. But missing from the announcement was any release date, either theatrical or home video.
In my opinion TWC is pretty much screwed unless it just bites the bullet and releases the original cut of the movie and does so ASAP. Who’s going to go see this other than the diehard Star Wars fans, especially since TWC doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to full-bore marketing campaigns and extensive distribution plans. These hard-core enthusiasts, who have been championing the film through the years it’s been hanging on the sidelines, are going to make the movie whatever it is and they’re not going to go see the re-shot version. Neither will anyone else, for that matter, figuring the movie is just for the Star Wars geeks.
So just release the darn movie as the filmmakers shot it. See what happens. The alternatives are non-release, meaning the studio wasted its acquisition money, or releasing the edited version, meaning the studio wasted the acquisition money.