Kevin Smith said his 1999 film dogma is not available to stream because Harvey Weinstein is “holding it hostage”.
The 52-year-old director told The Wrap that disgraced Hollywood producer Weinstein – who is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York for first-degree criminal sex offenses and third-degree rape – owned the film’s rights to himself sold and released it through the Shining Excalibur company.
“Unfortunately, to tell the story, I have to say the name that no one wants to hear anymore. But of course Harvey Weinstein has a part to play in the story,” Smith said.
dogmaabout two fallen angels trying to get back to heaven even if it destroys mankind was written and directed by Smith and starred Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, George Carlin, Jason Lee, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman and Linda Fiorentino.
Having become a relative box-office success at the time, dogma was eventually released on DVD and Blu-ray, and was once available in digital format until “the rights expired,” Smith said. Now it’s nowhere to be found, and copies of the discontinued Blu-ray version are selling online for around $100, The Wrap reported.
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Around the time the rights expired and the film disappeared (and prior to Weinstein’s public demise and condemnation), Smith said he didn’t think Weinstein “realized he still owned this film. I don’t think he realized he went out of public sales or anything.”
Smith claimed Weinstein called him in 2017 to ask him about a potential dogma Continuation – but then a week later the bomb New York Times Report released on producer’s alleged crimes. Smith found that the call he was “upset about” was probably just an attempt by Weinstein to find out if Smith was a potential source talking to reporters about him.
“He didn’t call because he wanted to do anything dogma. He wanted to see if I was one of the people who had spoken to him New York Times. I didn’t have that because I didn’t know anything about this stuff,” Smith said.
Smith said he later “found out [Weinstein] tried to sell the rights to [Dogma]’ for $5 million. Smith said he would have “nothing to do with” the project if Weinstein was “still attached to it.” He even tried to buy the film back, which he “felt very dirty because we didn’t want to give him any money.”
“But at the same time, it’s like my film and he has it. He’s holding him hostage,” Smith said. “My film about angels belongs to the devil himself. And if there is only one way out, maybe we could buy it away.”
His offers were too low for Weinstein, he claimed.
“Look, I love dogma as much as the next guy, but a) I don’t have $5 million and b) that’s not what the market can take anymore. We live in a streaming era. Last I heard another company said they wouldn’t sell me my film back. I thought, ‘What else can I do?’ There is not much. You can make a public stink, but I don’t think this guy reads the news anymore.”
The director whose Employees III is in theaters now and previously explained the Weinstein rights issue in a tweet back in 2019She added, “My film about the sky is in limbo.”