Fantastic Fest: Can Disney-Set ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Succeed If The Mouse Won’t Roar?

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 2:02pm PDT

Controversy put Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow on the radar at Sundance, where critics predicted that the fictional drama filmed without permission at Disney World would have to get past a courtroom before it reached theaters. As Escape nears its October multi-platform release, it has been deafening silence from Disney; not even Jiminy Cricket is chirping. That is the worst thing that could happen to a film where the venue is the only recognizable thing in a feature made on the cheap with no stars. Escape earned early notoriety for its subversive shoot after the filmmakers got The New York Times to flog a brewing David Vs. Goliath battle at Sundance. Turns out that newspaper was simply slinging hype and reflecting wishful thinking from the film’s backers. Disney doesn’t seem to care and the film is left to fly or die by its merits. At this weekend’s genre-heavy Fantastic Fest, where movie geeks gobble up subversive films, the pic screened with a whimper.

Related: ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Gets Fall Release

Cinetic sales rep John Sloss, whose Producers Distribution Agency is releasing the picture after it went unbought at Sundance, tells me some interested buyers were wary of crossing Disney when the film first screened. Sloss said he had offers, but Deadline has heard they were smallish and that Disney’s ire wasn’t the big factor. Getting a rise out of a corporation can be the best thing that can happen to a small film; earlier this year, the documentary Blackfish got on the map after its subject, Sea World, publicly griped about the characterization of multiple deaths involving its killer whales. Disney hasn’t made a peep, robbing Escape From Tomorrow of a lot of free publicity. Read More »

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‘Zero Theorem’ To Close Fantastic Fest

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 11:55am PDT

Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival and will now have its North American premiere as the closing night film September 26 at the annual genre-packed Fantastic Fest. It stars Christoph … Read More »

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Keanu Reeves’ ‘Man Of Tai Chi’ Sets Fantastic Fest US Premiere

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 11:02am PDT

Keanu Reeves will trek to Austin’s Fantastic Fest for the US premiere of his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi. The pic sold out of Cannes to Radius-TWC with designs on a late 2013 release. Reeves also stars in the pic opposite Tiger Chen, who plays a martial artist lured into an underground fighting circuit. Also in the initial lineup for the annual genre festival held September 19-26 are SXSW award winner Cheap Thrills and Erik Matti’s Filipino crime pic On The Job. As previously announced, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills will open the fest. Scroll down for more just-announced titles. Read More »

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‘Machete Kills’ World Premiere To Open Fantastic Fest 2013

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 10:23am PDT

Robert Rodriguez‘s grindhouse sequel Machete Kills will get a hometown debut in Austin, Texas at the annual genre-packed Fantastic Fest. Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale turned vigilante Machete, who is recruited … Read More »

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‘Red Dawn’ World Premiere To Close Fantastic Fest

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 10:35am PDT

Red Dawn Fantastic FestRed Dawn, based on the 1984 film of the same name, stars Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, and Adrianne Palicki and will have its world premiere September 27 at the Austin-based festival. … Read More »

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‘Frankenweenie’ To Bow At Fantastic Fest

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 9:52am PDT

Disney’s stop-motion animated Tim Burton movie Frankenweenie has been set to world premiere as the opening-night film at Fantastic Fest on September 20, organizers said this morning. The studio opens the movie wide domestically on October 5. The black-and-white 3D pic, written by John August, is about a boy who brings his beloved dog back to life — with just a few minor adjustments. Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder are among the voice cast. The genre festival runs through September 27 in Austin. UPDATE: As part of Disney’s promotion of the pic, it has released a cool 360-degree tour video of the set with interactive elements to click into. It’s certainly a different way to tell a behind-the-scenes story. Here it is: Read More »

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