Sometimes damage control can be as much as buying the distribution rights to a film. This almost seems the case with The Weinstein Co.'s picking up of Todd Haynes' arty Bob Dylan biopic, I'm Not There. But could it actually make Bob Dylan more upset?
The singer-songwriter is already portrayed in one upcoming movie distributed by the Weinsteins -- whether or not anybody involved with Factory Girl admits that Hayden Christensen plays Dylan, the consensus is that it is obviously him. Now, he's going to be portrayed by six more people, including Cate Blanchett and Heath Ledger. This second film, which has Dylan's approval, will be released by The Weinstein Co. sometime later this year.
Dylan is currently unhappy with the Weinsteins because of Factory Girl, which he has only heard may be defamatory to his character. It doesn't seem likely that he could reverse his feelings now that I'm Not There is in the enemy's clutches. Do Bob and Harvey think the deal will please Dylan, or do they mean to use it as leeway in any legal issue brought on by Dylan? Or could this be totally unrelated to the Factory Girl controversy?
Though Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine was (barely) released by the Weinstein boys, his films have never been exclusive to any one distributor. So, what could Haynes and producer Christine Vachon have been thinking? They get the privilege of dramatizing the life of a legend, with his blessing (which didn't happen with David Bowie and Goldmine), and then go and perform such an insult as this. It would have been bad enough without the conflict to go with the Weinsteins. This is twice as bad.