Earlier this afternoon I had a chance to speak with Courtney Solomon from After Dark Films. A filmmaker himself (he directed An American Haunting and the 2000 flick Dungeons & Dragons), Courtney is now a partner over at After Dark Films. A company that has a multi-picture deal with Lionsgate; these are the same folks who were also responsible for marketing the upcoming horror flick Captivity. And we all know what happened there. Back in March, a bunch of controversial billboards for Captivity began popping up all over New York and Los Angeles; billboards, mind you, that were not approved by the MPAA. Hence, the MPAA suspended the film's ratings process and slapped After Dark Films with an unprecedented sanction, forcing the company to clear all venues and locations of its ad buys with the MPAA.
Since then, the film's release date has been pushed back twice (it's now set to be released on July 13), and folks like Eli Roth have called them out basically saying that After Dark Films helped ruin the ratings process for other films, like Hostel: Part II, that were trying to go through the process at the exact same time. Following my interview with Roth (in which the director had some pretty harsh things to say about both Captivity and After Dark), I caught up with Solomon who wanted to set the record straight.
Cinematical: Let me read what Eli Roth said to me regarding Captivity and its controversial ad campaign: "Well ... I mean, everyone hates those guys. And word of mouth is that Captivity sucked. Why would I be jealous of that; I don't give a sh*t. I was pissed actually, because it makes it very difficult for the rest of us. They did not go before the MPAA with those posters. It really puts everyone on edge when that happens. And suddenly, who's the next one up? Oh, thanks, it's me. I'm not doing this for attention, I'm doing this to make good movies. And that decapitated head poster was a European poster; that was in 80% of the countries in Europe. It was not a poster that was intended for American audiences." What's your response to that?
Courtney Solomon: First of all, I've heard this over and over again -- [Eli] has spent most of his publicity tour talking about the Captivity posters and dissing us. I was listening to K-Rock one day, and he spent twenty minutes on there just going on about me -- and I've never even met Eli. As far as what he's saying, there are a couple of things that are completely inaccurate. First of all, nobody has seen Captivity because we re-did a third of the movie and we're just finishing it now. We actually just finished the mix on it two days ago. So he hears word around town that the movie is sh*t, but how can he say that when no one has even seen the movie? We just spent a lot of money and a lot of time to make the movie better, because we cared that the movie was good. In fact, it's got a lot more substance than his movie does -- that's number one. That's just a blatant, stupid, wrong statement. That's someone just spouting out from the mouth without even thinking about what they're saying.