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David Poland

By David Poland

Superman Returns… Businesswise

Well, besides coming onto tracking like a big summer bully, I’m beginning to get the gut feeling that Superman Returns

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57 Responses to “Superman Returns… Businesswise”

  1. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Is there any middle ground with this movie in terms of what will be determined a success or flop. $200mil, a flop. $300mil a success, but is $250 a hit or a miss still?

  2. PastePotPete says:

    If this movie ends up in the middle ground it’ll be spun as a failure by the press. I suspect it’s either going to be an outright success or an outright failure perception-wise.

  3. EDouglas says:

    Wow… Lex LUthor has a crush on Superman? No wonder he has quite such a mad-on about him…that’s freakin’ genius! I wonder why Grant Morrison hadn’t thought of that.

  4. Geoff says:

    It’s like I was saying months ago, this movie is feeling more and more like King Kong. Although, that campaign kicked in much earlier, both studio’s have really changed course several times with their advertising campaigns.
    But like King Kong, I just do not see a pentup demand for this film or this character to return. Despite what many now say, Kong had the advantage of good reviews, good word of mouth, and of course, two holiday weeks, right after it opened. And its biggest competition came the week before with Narnia, which obviously took away a lot of its thunder.
    In Superman’s case, you DO have one holiday to itself, but you have the Pirates coming in its second week. There is now way this film will drop less than 55% in that second week, given the competition. Maybe I’m overestimating Disney and Depp and whether people are really clamoring for more Pirates. For all we know, THAT film could be the one that truly underperforms. But somehow, I doubt it.
    Despite that, I’m upgrading my prediction from Hulk-like numbers to Batman Begins numbers. But like you guys have been saying, just breaking $200 million is gonna be considered a disappointment.

  5. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Geoff, quite a few people have been saying SR reminds them of KK.
    Question: Are Clark and Lex supposed to be the same age in the film? I don’t watch Smallville, i’ve seen a few episodes though when the ads showed Tom Welling sans clothes :P, but Clark and Lex appear to be the same age. Or, at least close in age.
    Brandon and Kevin aren’t remotely close in terms of age.

  6. Blackcloud says:

    I’ve never seen “Smallville,” but one of my colleagues prattles on about it endlessly. My impression is that on that show Clark and Lex are close in age. As for the movie, I suspsect that “Superman Returns” will studiously ignore “Smallville.” Look for the “Will ‘Superman Returns’ alienate ‘Smallville’ fans?” stories real soon.

  7. Martin S says:

    I was just wondering when this thread would start.
    I’m not the best with five-day predictions, but…
    X-Men – 104 Min/54M Open/3,000 screens
    Spider-Man – 121 Min/114M Open/3,600 screens
    Daredevil – 103 Min/45M Open/3,400 screens
    X2 – 133 Min/85M Open/3,700 screens
    Hulk – 138 Min/62M Open/3,600 screens
    Spider-Man 2 – 127 Min/155M Open/4,100 screens
    Fantastic Four – 106 Min/56M Open/3,600 screens
    Batman Begins – 141 Min/48M Open/3,800 screens
    X3 – 104 Min/122M Open/3,700 screens
    Superman Returns – 153 Minutes/ ? Open/ ? screens
    So it becomes pretty clear that WB is stretching days to sell this as a massive opening success, because it’s not physically possible to match Spider-Man, or X3, without having close to 3,750 screens. It’s even longer than Sith.
    The A&M may be rounding the corner in terms of awareness, but the trailers are still gibberish, especially the new one. They’re pretty images, but they don’t explain anything about the movie especially when the title lends itself to such an easy question “Returning from where”?
    Singer’s push for Superman2 is also a warning sign to me. Making the studio commit before the audience can react is always seems suspect.

  8. Martin S says:

    On Smallville, Lex is 30 to Clark’s 19, even though Welling has aged heavily compared to Rosenbaum.
    The Smallville/Superman talk has been going on forever. I still believe it was a huge mistake not utilizing the 5+ years of groundwork Smallville has done with teens transitioning from middle school/high school/college. Everyone over 30 thinks the audience is going to compare Routh to Reeves because that’s the critics storyline already in place, but no one considers how much more relevant Welling and Rosenbaum are to the demo audience. If Returns feels to camp compared to Smallville’s X-Files Lite vibe, the drop to Pirates is going to be huge.

  9. Geoff says:

    You know, I didn’t even think of the impact that Smallville would have on this, but I doubt it would be too negative.
    Would it have made much more sense for Welling to just continue the role in the movie? Sure, but I guess it was not in the cards for Singer.
    I think casting Bosworth will probably be the biggest mistake. Sure, you have to have some suspension of disbelief, considering this is a superhero story, but come on! She does NOT look old enough to have a kid who can talk or have worked as an experienced reporter for many years.
    Kind of like casting Katie Holmes as an assistant D.A. and giving her all the densest dialogue, even though she looks and sounds like she’s 12 years old.
    When are the studio’s gonna start realizing that you have to cast real WOMEN, not little girls in roles like this? There are actresses in this age group that actually come off as adult women. Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Amy Adams, Chloe Sevigny, you name it. Or would they have just turned down the chance to play Lois Lane?

  10. palmtree says:

    The demand for Superman is being underestimated by many people…myself included. The name and mythology carries a weight that not even Batman or Spiderman carry. The fact that so many people are waffling means that it won’t be huge (X3 opening will still likely be higher), but it’ll have decent legs.

  11. tfresca says:

    Martin S. I completely agree with you. It’s such a studio way of thinking, “these are television people they can’t make/be in movies”, that it really irks me. Smallville really set up ways to do the movie perfectly. Quite frankly I think it’s a huge mistake to make Luthor the primarly villan here because he’s not “super” powered. The only Superman movie that people REALLY like is the second one because he wasn’t just evenly matched but overmatched. Watching him get shot by machine guns is cool but boring. Who cares? We know it won’t hurt him. I would’ve made the movie with Welling, spend $85 million (not counting all the failed drafts and pay or play deals) and watch the flick go past $160 million into profitability. I think most people don’t even frigging remember the Reeve movies all that fondly the crappy sequels made sure of that. But alas I’m still giving Singer the benefit of the doubt, he hasn’t made bad movie yet.

  12. Geoff says:

    The guys at Box Office Prophet made a pretty good point about this, in their last column. They said that there is pretty much a ceiling for films based on comic books, about $220 million. Granted that’s a pretty high ceiling, but I think this is the trend.
    With musicals, you could say the ceiling is about $60 million. Chicago was the blockbuster exception to prove this rule. And like Chicago, Spiderman is the exception to its genre.
    $220 or so million is pretty damn good, except when your budget is almost $300 million. After Superman, you’re going to see some serious cost control being exacted on these kind of films.

  13. jesse says:

    Geoff, I don’t know that estimating the ceiling at $220 mil makes sense, even if we’re somehow setting aside Spiderman as the “lone” (two movies so far) exception. X3 is going to get past $220 mil (albeit not by a lot) and X2 was right there up against it with $215 mil. The rest of the big recent comics movies, listed by Martin above, granted, did between $100 and 200. But that’s still setting a “ceiling” that 4 out of 9 movies have either reached or surpassed.
    I think the bigger point is that you can make that argument because so few of *any* movies get above the $220 mil range (even if more have been for the past decade). So obviously you’re not going to find comics movie after comics movie getting up there. The problem is making a movie that needs to be in that range to make money, not the fact that comics movies can’t get over the 220 hump.

  14. Crow T Robot says:

    I may take great pleasure in crapping on this overwrought comic book genre, but the fact is we’ve had two bona-fide superhero classics for two straight summers here. Singer is a director capable of aiming as high as Raimi and Nolan, and the out-of-the-box approach to this material looks ripe with potential.
    We can talk numbers and marketing and sodomy, but the simple fact here is (like Spidey did after 9-11) this country is itching for a hero right now. And the recipe for a terrific movie is all here. Bring… it… on.
    Though I still don’t think it’s too late to reshoot all the Lois Lane scenes with Rachel McAdams. Check it out my new website

  15. Crow T Robot says:

    Two “the fact is”es in one post.
    Go Crow!

  16. Citizen R says:

    Superman Returns has nine days before Pirates 2 is released. If SR can roll up at least $ 150 million in those nine days, which seems doable, that should carry it to $ 250-300 million domestic even if Pirates 2 gives it a scare in its second weekend.
    By the way, The Omen pulled in $ 12.5 million opening day.

  17. repeatfather says:

    Tfresco, I hope you’re not implying that Tom Welling should have been Superman. The boy can’t act, plain and simple, and I think people underestimate just how much acting ability it takes to pull off Superman. I’m theorizing that there will be an increased appreciation for Christopher Reeve’s accomplishments after this film is released.
    I think the worst part of the marketing is that the plot seems to be a complete rehash of the first Superman movie. . .Superman shows up on Earth, hangs out at the Kent farm, finds himself, comes to Metropolis, thwarts evil for many a montage scene, almost dies trying to thwart Lex Luthor’s diabolical plot. Singer better have some twists up his sleeve.

  18. Dr Wally says:

    Expect Superman to top Pirates internationally – Warner has held off the global rollout of SR for two weeks after the US opening – the week after the end of the World Cup. Smart move. Pirates opens worldwide the same long weekend of the World Cup semi-finals and final, and will pay the price.

  19. David Poland says:

    Just a note… while the issue of screen count is significant, be aware that screen count and print count (aka reality) no longer have a whole lot to do with one another and that Superman Returns will surely try to occupy more than 7000 actual screens with more than 7000 actual prints going out.

  20. Citizen R says:

    SR should have a hefty worldwide gross, but I think Pirates 2 will be bigger. Pirates 2 has a real shot at being the top grossing film of the year.
    FYI, the domestic grosses of the Chris Reeve Superman films adjusted for inflation are:
    Superman – $ 408 million
    Superman II – $ 241 million
    Superman III – $ 114 million
    Superman IV – $ 26 million

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Jeez, no wonder there wasn’t a Superman V…that was a pretty big bomb.

  22. Blackcloud says:

    “Expect Superman to top Pirates internationally – Warner has held off the global rollout of SR for two weeks after the US opening – the week after the end of the World Cup. Smart move. Pirates opens worldwide the same long weekend of the World Cup semi-finals and final, and will pay the price.”
    Not so. The only big territories where POTC will open the same weekend as the World Cup final are the UK and Australia. Everywhere else it opens after the WC is done. Disney isn’t stupid.

  23. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Did anyone check out the trailer for Texas Chaainsaw Massacre: The Beginning? It was effective. (Whatever else you want to say about Bay, his trailers are always good.)
    What’s with the restrictions on the trailer? Is it just a marketing ploy? If it is, that’s fine. It’s a dumb one but whatever. Harry Knowles went on a rant about the restriction, and while I usually ignore the KNowles, I am concern if the MPAA is going to start restricting trailers just because they’re “effective.” I mean, this is a Green Band trailer. If they have a problem then why not just give it the Red Band. The trailer is no more graphic than the one for the “re-imagining.” This seems to be a slippery slope that could be harmful to directors making transgressive movies.
    Any thoughts?

  24. David Poland says:

    As I reported on MCN’s cover, it is a unique deal.
    This green band trailer can only run on R-rated movies. So the time restriction is an extention of that.

  25. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I thought Green Band trailers can run on any movie? If this is true, why the doubnle standard? Or, is it Green Band trailers of R-rated movies can only run with R-rated movies? Either way, what’s with the restrictions? I mean, you don’t see this kind of restriction on the trailer for Miami Vice.

  26. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Warner has held off the global rollout of SR for two weeks after the US opening – the week after the end of the World Cup. Smart move.
    DUH! Outside North America no studio will release a major motion picture opposite the World Cup.

  27. Jimmy the Gent says:

    It is a sad day. Apparently, Scorsese test screened The Departed. You’d think someone like Scorsese would be spared from test screening.

  28. David Poland says:

    This is specific.
    MPAA ruled that the trailer could be green band, but would not be allowed on anything but R movies, for intensity.
    I can’t speak to the MPAA position on this. But it seems to be some middle ground.

  29. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I need help. is offering 25% off certain CD Box Sets. What should I get? Should I get the Rhino Doo Wop Box or The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968?

  30. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I thought the MPAA didn’t get specific? I thought they didn’t believe in “exceptions to the rules” kind of gargaining? They don’t allow filmmakers to bring in clips from other movies to counterargue a rating on apeal.

  31. David Poland says:

    Waiting on an answer from the MPAA… could be 24 hours or so…

  32. Lynn says:

    Well… let me offer a moment of fangirl perspective on the Smallville vs. SR thing.
    I’ve never been a Smallville fan, though I have friends that are, and what seems to interest them most is that Lex is more than the one-dimensional mustache-twirling villian that he basically is in the movies. Smallville has given him a detailed — and basically sympathetic — backstory, and has tried to show just how he ends up making compromise after compromise until he no longer cares, becoming the bad guy. (I have no idea if this is consistent with the comics. Please don’t yell at me about the comics.)
    No Superman movie will ever do this — and it probably shouldn’t try. (Except for X-Men, I hate superhero movies that spend too much time with the bad guys.) But that’s the kind of slow, methodical character development that appeals to a certain number of fangirl types, and it’s frankly why more of us get deeply into TV shows than movies — we’re in it for the characters, not the explosions or dumb plot devices, and over time TV has learned how to often be more rewarding in that respect than movies. Especially huge big-budget summer movies.
    And probably nobody cares, we’re not a big enough demo or whatever — but there it is.

  33. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sure this is not the first time that Scorsese has had a test screening of one of his films. Lord knows the Weinsteins must have ordered a slew of them for Gangs of New York.

  34. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Check out:
    I love that people are saying Smallville should’ve been used as a platform. About seven people watch that show in total. Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling look very similar in ages (they probably are), which makes Lex being 30 on the show appear quite shocking and stupid.
    On Scorsese, if Gangs got test screenings, why didn’t they axe half the movie and start again? 😛
    On the matter of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I’m kind of peeved off. I’m not allowed to watch the trailer! It says I have to view it between 10pm and 4am, well, I adjusted my computer clock and checked for both pacific and eastern times and it was within the alloted time range, but I still couldn’t watch it, it told me to come back between 10-4. bah. Idiots. I love Texas ’03 and I wanna see the bloody (literally?) trailer.
    I wonder what this TCM will do in terms of business. The remake is looked upon fondly by people my age and it’s opening two weeks before Halloween i believe.
    God, October 13 is a big day for me. Not only are Marie-Antoinette, The Fountain and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning out, but it’s also my birthday. Of course, those movies will be released in Australia in June 2007 most likely.

  35. Geoff says:

    Some one at Aint it Cool brought this up about The Departed. october is looking to be one hell of a month. You have new films coming from Chris Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, and Scorcese. I will defintely be heading the theater, often.
    Of course, if you look at the release schedule for that month, it’s all horror – Texas Chainsaw, Saw, and The Grudge. Sadly, watch for the combined opening grosses of those three horror films exceed the total grosses of the three listed above, plus Marie-Antoinette, which I’m also looking forward to.
    Sorry, but I’m a sucker for New Order, Joy Division, all that post-punk new wave music from the ’80’s. And any trailer that features that music has got me interested.

  36. Martin S says:

    Lynn – “And probably nobody cares, we’re not a big enough demo or whatever — but there it is”.
    Thanks for verifying the strawpoll I take from the high school/college students that work with me wife. I did this yesterday and the response was around what you wrote – and it’s the same reaction they had to Kong. Apathy.
    As for Smallville – whether you think Welling can act or not is negated by the fact that he brings a built-in audience of teen/young adults, male and female, five years strong. What does Routh bring to the table? His parents? The only other people you would have to bring from Smallville would be Rosenbaum, (Luthor), and Kruek (Lana Lang).
    Smallville also allows the film to bypass all the Smallville backdrop and just focus on Metropolis and Krypton. A shorter SPFX driven film which guarentees a nice return. WB could also run marathon nights of Smallville and drop prices on the DVD sets which is free marketing.
    I still have not read a satisfactory answer from Horn or Singer as to why not. It seems to always be about pissing territory in Warner’s.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    I think a lot of people would be uninterested in seeing a Smallville movie, no matter how much they pumped it up for the big screen. It sends a message that the movie is only for fans of the show. How much did Serenity gross last year?

  38. wolfgang says:

    Jeff – BOM reports Serenity grossed $25,514,517 domestic and $13,334,580 overseas; total $38,849,097 from Sept. 30, 2005 opening to Nov. 17, 2005 close.
    Found that here –
    I’m sure it’s doing well in ancillary markets (DVD rentals/sales, etc.)

  39. wolfgang says:

    Or was your question rhetorical?

  40. Blackcloud says:

    Serenity was considered a disappointment, if not a flop. There was a lot of recrimination on the Whedon forums online. It made for very shrill reading. It made me regret clicking the link on Google or Mojo that led me there.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    I’ll tell you what marks the turning point in the marketing for this movie: WB is using the classic John Williams themes in their TV commercials now. That’s all it took to make me excited again.

  42. Martin S says:

    jeffmcm – “I think a lot of people would be uninterested in seeing a Smallville movie, no matter how much they pumped it up for the big screen. It sends a message that the movie is only for fans of the show”
    First off, this was under consideration at the end of two seasons ago. But that approach was to have Welling “reborn” just so they could recast the entire film and reshoot Smallville, which totally missed the point.
    You don’t sell the show, you sell Superman. You separate Smallville from the movie by having everything in Metropolis, Krypton/The Fortress. You carry over three characters, Clark, Lex and Lana as a secondary. Your bigger names would then be cast in villain roles and the Daily Planet, (Lois, Perry,etc). You focus around Clark’s first days at the Planet, meeting Lois and the metaphor of Metropolis one the verge of destruction like Krypton.
    You wouldn’t even have to touch Smallville, which is always the most boring part of the story. I guarentee Singer’s Smallville depcition is going to suck balls. Not because of the TV show, but because it’s about as anti-cinematic as one can get today.
    jeffmcm “How much did Serenity gross last year”?
    Be serious. Serenity is incomparable to Smallville because we’re talking about a 60+ year old concept v. something that lasted a few months. Superman is the second most worldwide recognizable logo behind Mickey Mouse and it’s been that way for decades.
    The length of this movie shows how bloated of a production it is. When you could have used the TV show as a jumping point, never had to refer to Smallville once in the film, never have to waste time and money on the establishment of his powers…it’s total arrogance. You can hear it in Singer’s interview on Sunday Morning Shootout. He’s thrilled that the budget for this flick is out of control. It makes him feel important. And if this does do a Kong, I hope Horn gets shown the door just like Snider was.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    But see, the point that they decided not to reshoot Smallville or use any of its case shows that WB knew that was a losing proposition. I know that Serenity and Smallville are different things, but the point in common is that people tend to not want to pay to see TV in a movie theater. People like me who never watched the show are going to assume that it’s a movie only for fans and that they’re going to be lost. Making it a sequel to Superman II is much smarter…we’ll see how the movie plays out.

  44. Martin S says:

    Jeff, I don’t know if you’ve been reading the early reviews, but I’m standing behind my initial call.
    Welcome back, Kong.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    Your initial call was what?
    Regardless of how well Singer’s version plays out, I guarantee that a Smallville movie would have flopped even bigger. With the possible exception of Star Trek, people don’t care to see TV in a movie theater. Of course, we’ll never know.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, if they were going to reference a TV show, they might as well have referenced “The New Adventures of Lois and Clark.” I mean, that series was watched by a hell of a lot more people than have ever watched “Smallville.”

  47. Blackcloud says:

    I think it was actually “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” But apparently Joe’s version is more accurate, since from what I heard Superman was rarely in the show. So it’s no better than Smallvile, either.

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    Blackcloud: Actually, you’re right. Maybe it was a Freudian slip on my part. Or, maybe I just fucked up.

  49. Blackcloud says:

    No problem, Joe. I never watched the show, but based on what I heard from people who did, it was much more “Lois and Clark” than “New Adventures of Superman.” If so, then that means it would have the same problems people say Smallville would as a template. The relationship stuff is exactly what people don’t want in a big-screen Superman. Personally, I think they did the right think by ignoring Smallville. They’re making a Superman movie, not a Smallville movie. You can do one or the other, not both.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, what I would like to see are more super hero movies in which super heroes think it’s really gosh-darn cool to be a super hero. I mean, OK, I can understand some angst and self-doubt and identity crises for some characters. (Like Spider-Man, for example.) But geez, why must we ALWAYS have all the agonizing? Actually, one reason I really liked “The Phantom” (a very under-rated action flick, BTW) is that Billy Zane acted like he thought it was the coolest thing on earth to put on a costume and go out and kick ass. In the much-maligned (though not by me) “Fantastic Four,” Johnny Storm/Human Torch brought a similar joy to his super-heroics. Too often, though, we get gloomy-pusses in tights.

  51. jeffmcm says:

    But Joe, where’s the drama in happy superheroes? I don’t want to see a character who has superpowers _and_ a good, fulfilling life. I may not be able to relate.

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    And God knows, if we have a hero/heroine that people can’t relate to, the box-office will suffer.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sure you’re being facetious, but I don’t know what you’re actually trying to say.

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    Referring to a common problem with contemporary films: Fraidy-cat producers worry that heroes won’t be likable/relatable. Which is why we likely won’t get many Popeye Doyles (or even Tony Maneros) anymore. “I may not be able to relate,” you wrote. I hope _you_ were being facetious.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    I was not being facetious. I know exactly what you mean, but I think, however, that there are greater challenges in making an omniscient superhero ‘relatable’ than an ordinary cop or criminal. One requires an extra layer of suspension of disbelief. A superhero with no problems? What would be the point?

  56. jeffmcm says:

    (I’m exaggerating, of course. One of the reasons for the success of The Incredibles was the superpowered joy you are talking about.)

  57. Martin S says:

    Jeff – “Regardless of how well Singer’s version plays out, I guarantee that a Smallville movie would have flopped even bigger. With the possible exception of Star Trek, people don’t care to see TV in a movie theater”.
    How is Superman, TV? Without getting into individual interpretation, WB would not produce nor sell it as a “Smallville movie”. Superman, as a brand value alone, makes it greater than that.
    It’s not Buffy or The X-Files. The closest comparison is Young Indiana Jones, but even that was a film-only brand.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon