Joe Lynch's Fantasy Comedy 'Knights of Badassdom' is in Trouble
It's been over a year and half since Comic-Con 2011 gave us our first glimpse of the fantasy action comedy Knights of Badassdom from director Joe Lynch. Taking cues from Three Amigos and Tropic Thunder, the film follows group of LARPers (Live Action Role Players) who inadvertently summon a deadly succubus during the middle of a big fantasy battle and must fight her in the real world. The cast includes Ryan Kwanten, Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, Summer Glau, Steve Zahn, Community's Danny Pudi and Margarita Levieva. However, since the tease at Comic-Con and release of the first trailer, there haven't been any official updates on the release. Now we finally have some troubling news on that situation.
SlashFilm noticed that the official website for the film, badassdom.com, contained an open letter to “what remains of the Board of Directors of IndieVest, the production company and manager of the film known as Knights of Badassdom.” It sounds like some of the people who worked on Knights of Badassdom are no longer in a position to make any decisions regarding the future of the film. That includes director Joe Lynch, who supposedly hasn't been involved with any aspect of the film's post-production since shortly after Comic-Con in 2011. However, the site has been updated with a bit more information on the issue.
As of now, there's a screening of Knights of Badassdom for buyers happening this evening in order to get what is supposedly a 70-minute cut of the film sold and hopefully released. This version reportedly "includes significant changes to the original story and concept.” Well, that doesn't sound good. Other than that, the legal red tape is what's really at the source of this debacle. Aside from the creative differences that apparently exist, what is left of IndieVest is trying to transfer the film over to an entity called Media Society in order to turn the film into a business asset, thus making it difficult for anyone to give them grief.
Those who are behind the campaign to save the film in its original form are saying this kind of decision is deceptive and not in the best interest of those who have invested in the film (check out the website for stories about the shady actions of IndieVest and Media Society). The badassdom.com website has since been updated after this debacle became a little more public and says, "IndieVest still has many options for completing Knights of Badassdom in a prudent way that allows it to continue to act with the fiduciary responsibility it owes its investors. It can do so without yielding to bullying and with minimal additional expense." And while director Joe Lynch hasn't made his position extensively know, there is this tweet:
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 2, 2013
Producer Wade Bradley, who is behind the new cut, is supposedly the man who removed Lynch from the film and also fired several other producers. Bradley is the man holding the screening tonight which those calling themselves the real Knights of Badassdom tried to prevent. Now they have to sit and wait, hoping their plea to investors and potential buyers is enough to keep it from getting bought or have those buyers demand that Lynch be brought back to finish the film. There's also hopes that they can raise enough money to finish the visual effects and other post-production elements needed.
As of now, Bradley is denying all of these claims, though he hasn't offered any evidence to support his side of the story. The producer has said he would make a statement later this week, likely after the screening happens. Sadly, this is the seedy underbelly of Hollywood from time to time. Producers and directors bickering is a staple of behind-the-scenes stuff that you often don't hear about. But since this isn't a big studio film, there's not much of a filter or damage control to keep it under wraps. Hopefully we'll see Joe Lynch's vision of Knights of Badassdom sometime down the road, but for now we have to wait.