A Film "No One Will Pay To See" Is Sold
Although some analysts had predicted that Death of a President, whichmade its debut at the Toronto Film Festival this week, would never find adistributor -- others had predicted it would never see the light of day inthe U.S. -- Newmarket Films announced Monday that it had purchased U.S.distribution rights from producer-director Gabriel Range. It reportedly paid$1 million. Newmarket is the same company that picked up rights to MelGibson's equally controversial The Passion of the Christ.President, which is shot as if it were a television documentary,centers on the assassination of George Bush during a visit to Chicago in2007. Using digital techniques, the filmmakers replaced the head of an actorpretending to be shot with the actual head of George Bush. The movie hasbeen denounced by Bush supporters, including Rush Limbaugh and theRepublican Party of Texas, who warn that it could encourage some unbalancedviewer to attempt a copycat crime. But Range told the Toronto audience that"there have been plenty of fictional films about presidentialassassinations." Meanwhile, Time magazine critic Richard Corlisspredicted that "the film will be one of those curios that millions of peopleread about but few pay to see. It will be forgotten in a year -- except bythe Secret Service."