SPECULATION: SLASH’S DEBUT AS A FILM PRODUCER IS PROBABLY GOING (MORE OR LESS) STRAIGHT TO VIDEO
The Sundance Film Festival, probably the most famous film festival in the United States and arguably all of North America (sorry, Toronto!), is now underway, which means there’s a lot of Hollywood wheelin’ and dealin’ going on right now. And one such wheel n’ deal comes in the form of Anchor Bay Films acquiring distribution rights to Nothing to Fear, the debut from Slash’s Slasher Films imprint. The horror flick stars Oscar nominee Thomas Hayden Church as “a charismatic but unbalanced man of the cloth.”
Details of the deal haven’t been publicly released yet, but based on my knowledge of Anchor Bay’s usual work, I’d say the fact that this is goin’ down tells us two things about Nothing to Fear:
- WHETHER IT’S GOOD OR BAD, IT’S PROBABLY PRETTY CREATIVE. Anchor Bay has a pretty good track record for releasing really off-the-wall genre movies that a big Hollywood studio wouldn’t touch with a pole the length of Tommy Lee’s penis, such as recent releases The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Frozen, and Daydream Nation. Regardless of whether you like or dislike these movies, there’s no denying that they’re unique and, well, risky. To that end, it seems like a safe bet that Nothing to Fear is probably going to be an interesting flick, regardless of whether or not it “works,” for lack of a better term.
- NOTHING TO FEAR‘S THEATRICAL RELEASE WILL PROBABLY BE TINY-TO-NON-EXISTANT. Three of Anchor Bay’s biggest 2011 releases — Texas Killing Fields, starring Avatar‘s Sam Worthington, Catch .44 with Bruce Willis, and Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin’s 5 Days of War — opened on two-three screens each before heading to DVD. The aforementioned Frozen was one of the company’s bigger releases in 2010, when it opened on 106 screens. To give you some sense of just how tiny a release that is in comparison to big Hollywood cash cows, this past weekend’s number one movie, Underworld I Can’t Believe They Made Another Fucking One, opened on more than three-THOUSAND screens. And sure, indie movies get teeny tiny little releases all the time — for example, currently the critics’ darling A Separation is playing on a mere thirteen screens in the United States — it’s worth noting that a) thirteen is still a lot more than three, and b) those movies are often given the chance to play for weeks and weeks and weeks in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles, whereas Anchor Bay films usually hang in for one or two weekends tops before heading to home video.
My point being that Nothing to Fear may or may not ever actually open at a theater near you, and if/when it does, you probably won’t have a very big window of opportunity in which to see it. The silver lining, I guess, is that it will be on DVD and On Demand before you know it.
Of course, I could be wrong — for all I know, Anchor Bay is planning to make Nothing to Fear their biggest release ever. The details of a movie’s release, it wil not surprise you to learn, are worked out when the distribution deal is being made, so somebody somewhere already knows what the dilly is. And it’s also worth noting that while expectations for Slash as a movie producer might be high, on account of his being a megarich celebrity rock star d00d, if everyone involved in the making of Nothing to Fear makes money, than he will be a successful film producer regardless of whether or not Fear opens on three screens or three-thousand screens. And it’s also also worth noting that it’s not presently clear if Anchor Bay bought international distribution rights, or just distribution rights for the United States or North America; there might very well be more moolah to be made selling the flick overseas.
But I’m more than a little curious to see how this plays out, because, well, I wanna know if Slash can make it as a movie producer, or if he needs to stick to playing his gee-tar. Hopefully more details about the flick and its release will soon be forthcoming.