The Hollywood Reporter has the long and torturous story. If you've been following this poor film's route, you know that the movie centers on a group of friends trying to sneak into Skywalker Ranch so that their cancer-stricken friend can see The Phantom Menace. The Weinsteins decided the entire cancer subplot should be removed, and spent $2 million on reshoots, only to have the film begin failing test screenings.
Now, fans (led, it must be said, by the 501st Stormtrooper Legion) have gone on the warpath. 30,000 e-mails have been sent to the production company, along with threats of a boycott of all Weinstein films, a picket line at Superhero Movie, and cries of "Darth Weinstein!" have forced the company's hand -- slightly. The Weinstein Co has agreed to release two versions of the film on DVD -- the original, and the reshot version, and are pondering whether to release both in the theatre.
But the wrath of the 501st has not been appeased. "This is clearly a vain attempt by the Weinstein Co. to avert Star Wars fans' impending boycott of all of their films," the group said. "It's not going to work, Darth Weinstein. There was never any doubt that you would release both versions of the movie on DVD, probably months apart, so as to leech as much money from Star Wars fans as possible. Our boycott will continue until the Weinstein Co. announces that they are returning control of Fanboys to the Star Wars fans who made it, releasing the original version in theaters and doing away with their anti-fan version of the film altogether."
This is just so unbelievably crazy, I don't even know what to say. I saw a few clips from Fanboys at BNAT 8 and thought it was really funny -- and certainly not the kind of film that should provoke so much drama. I can't believe the Weinsteins have wasted so much time and effort in tinkering with the movie rather than simply releasing it. At this point, if they release the original theatrical version, they stand a chance to profit from overjoyed geeks (the 501st alone can probably turn a profit in ticket sales), but it certainly won't do a thing sitting on the shelf. Madness.