Sit back, close your eyes, relax… and let me tell you a tale that will frustrate and infuriate even the most chill amongst us.
It starts back in 2010 when a group of actors signed on for a movie about a group of LARPers (that would be Live Action Role Playing for those who aren’t in the know or who haven’t seen Role Models) who accidentally summon a real demon and the hijinks that ensue. This just isn’t your run of the mill group of actors though. No, this is a group of actors that get the neck hairs of a wide variety of geek standing on end. Peter Dinklage, Danny Pudi, Jimmi Simpson, Steve Zahn (a personal favorite of mine), Ryan Kwanten, Joshua Malina, and of course the geek girl herself, Summer Glau. I don’t know that it’s possible to look at that list of names and not want to immediately see what they have put together.
Well, fast forward to 2011 San Diego Comic-Con and a trailer is released. Our own esteemed Dr. Kronner did the honors and provided a nice write up about it, including interviews with the cast. You will most certainly want to check that out, but just for ease of use right now, let’s go ahead and put the trailer here as well.
Right? Even though I’ve never had the chance to don chain mail and wield a foam sword myself, I am a huge fan of LARP and movies about LARP. I’ve watched Faintheart more times than I can count, and Unicorn City is one of my “because you liked…” categories on Netflix. Hell, I’ve even watched All’s Faire in Love more times than anyone should ever admit to, so it isn’t really surprising that I really want to see this movie. Enter the problem.
It appears as if Knights of Badassdom has hit a bit of a snag and by that I mean, it’s having a lot of issues, and by that I mean, we might not ever get to see it. With a trailer being released in 2011, one would expect to see the movie in 2012, especially when the movie’s site has a banner that says…
In case you’ve been living under a rock, 2012 has come and gone and this movie has not been released. Actually for quite a while there was nothing even mentioned of this movie. In July of 2012, an unknown investor in the movie took to the internet claiming that the film’s production company, IndieVest, was doing nothing but stringing them along. Then radio silence again.
That was until March of this year. It seems as if the original cut of the movie, done by director Joe Lynch and completed days before the trailer was released at Comic-Con (remember this was back in the summer of 2011), was tossed aside by the Indievest and namely, it’s CEO Wade Bradley. It was actually Wade Bradley himself who responded to the ‘Rip-Off Report’ complaint by saying that “The film is now readying for its final mix and is on schedule to be released (by IndieVest Pictures) in the first half of 2013.”
I’m thinking that perhaps Mr. Bradley needs Santa to bring him a calendar this Christmas because there’s only roughly three weeks left in the first half of 2013 and there’s been neither hide nor hair seen of the recut Knights of Badassdom. But what of director Joe Lynch? What has he been saying in all this? Well when IndieVest was planning on screening their own edit, he took to twitter to make sure that everyone knew that it was not his version of the film by often using the hashtag #notmyedit.
He hasn’t said much else about it since then, instead choosing to tweet about Joss Whedon and S.H.I.E.L.D., conversations with friends, and his podcast, The Movie Crypt, with Adam Green.
When asked directly about Knights of Badassdom, the answer is a little sad.
I’m a person that hates to see good people get hurt (unless they’ve wronged me then I take glee in it – I’m a complicated individual) so it’s disheartening to see a director of a movie get shut out of his own project publicly like this. Granted this was probably mishandled by everyone involved but it’s hard not to paint IndieVest as the demon in this situation.
The real victim here though? Well that of course is the movie and the potential fans of said movie. I think we can all agree that this is the type of film that it doesn’t really matter if it wasn’t the best writing, or the best story, or the best anything. As a rule, if you don’t mess up the major things like Star Wars, Star Trek, or any other established universe, we geeks can be rather forgiving. There aren’t many shows or movies that have LARP as a main aspect so I think it’s safe to say that most of us would embrace it regardless. Sadly, no word yet on if we’ll ever get that chance.