|Battle brewing over halted movie project|
|Bob and Doug McKenzie||September 1, 1999 @9:38pm EDT|
MEG Media Group Inc., financiers behind the stalled sequel to Bob and Doug McKenzie's 1983 cult classic Strange Brew, say the project failed because its "questionable appeal" was considered a risk by potential backers.
Mr. Thomas said yesterday he is in talks to possible revive the project. "We are going to make this movie," he said.
Battle brewing over halted movie project ---------------------------------------- By BRENDA BOUW - The Financial Post MEG Media Group Inc., financiers behind the stalled sequel to Bob and Doug McKenzie's 1983 cult classic Strange Brew, say the project failed because its "questionable appeal" was considered a risk by potential backers. Toronto-based MEG said yesterday the film's financing fell through because the insurance company underwriting the project was not satisfied with its terms and conditions. "The quality of the Home Brew project as a viable and prof- itable business entity were raised as key concerns by risk man- agers including: the limited, regional appeal of the film con- cept; the minimal opportunities to attract large audiences to the film; and the questionable appeal of the film to the current movie-going demographic," MEG said in a release. It is the first time MEG has spoken publicly about its battle with Maple Palm Productions Inc., the film company started by ac- tor Dave Thomas, (a.k.a. Doug McKenzie), over the Home Brew pro- ject. Production of the film was cancelled last month after the funding agreement between both sides collapsed. MEG said a last-minute attempt to find another insurer to un- derwrite the project failed after a condition to find a U.S. dis- tributor could not be met in time for July 19, the day the film was to begin shooting in Toronto. John Hamilton, MEG's president, said he negotiated "in good faith" with Maple Palm and "in earnest effort to salvage the Home Brew project." The $15-million (US) film, scheduled for release early next year with co-stars Rick Moranis and Dan Aykroyd, is now on hold indefinitely. Mr. Thomas said yesterday he is in talks to possibly revive the project. "We are going to make this movie," he said. Mr. Thomas also refuted MEG's allegations Home Brew was not at- tractive to movie-goers, saying the McKenzie brothers have been popular across North America as a result of Miller beer commer- cials and Strange Brew television and home video sales. He also said research was done before the Home Brew project was final- ized, which proved the sequel would be well-received in both the U.S. and Canada. "The conclusion was that these characters had a high recogni- tion in the American marketplace and they were extremely likeable characters. Based on this and other research we determined this project was viable males," Mr. Thomas said. Both sides have filed lawsuits against the other since Home Brew's production was halted. The two sides were in settlement negotiations for weeks trying to avoid a lawsuit. The talks fell apart late last week. Neither side has yet filed a defence in the two separate lawsuits. Copyright (c) 1999, Quebecor New Media Limited Partnership. All rights reserved.
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