Kevin Smith has said that the streaming service Netflix is unable to carry his film Dogma from 1999 because Harvey Weinstein is “keeping it hostage.”

The disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York for criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, sold the film’s rights to the director, who is 52 years old, and the director released the movie through a company called Shining Excalibur. The director told The Wrap that Weinstein sold the rights to the film to himself.

“I’m afraid that in order to continue telling the narrative, I’m going to have to mention the name that no one wants to hear any more. But Harvey Weinstein is a character in this drama, therefore he cannot be ignored “Smith added.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, George Carlin, Jason Lee, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, and Linda Fiorentino starred in the film Dogma, which was written and directed by Kevin Smith and told the story of two fallen angels who try to get back into heaven by any means necessary, even if it means destroying humanity.

After having a moderate amount of success at the box office at the time, Dogma was ultimately made available on DVD and Blu-ray. It had previously been made accessible in digital format, but “the rights expired,” according to Smith. According to a story from The Wrap, it is now impossible to locate, and copies of the discontinued Blu-ray edition are being offered online for around one hundred dollars each.

Never miss an important story again by subscribing to PEOPLE’s free weekly newsletter and having the most important news of the week sent directly to your inbox every Friday.

Smith said that he does not believe Weinstein was responsible for the loss of the movie’s rights and its disappearance about the same time that Weinstein was still in the public eye and had not yet been convicted “discovered that he still owned the movie in question. I don’t believe he was aware that it was no longer available to the general public or anything like that.”

Smith said that Weinstein phoned him in 2017 to inquire about the possibility of a Dogma sequel; however, only one week later, the explosive piece about the producer’s alleged wrongdoings was published in the New York Times. Smith claimed that Weinstein called him. Smith discovered that the call, which he had become “excited” about, was likely merely an effort by Weinstein to determine whether Smith was a prospective source who talked to media about Weinstein. Smith had gotten “excited” about the call since Weinstein was calling him.

“It wasn’t because he wanted anything to do with Dogma that he was phoning in the first place. He was curious to know whether I was one of the individuals who had shared their thoughts with the New York Times. I hadn’t, since none of that information was familiar to me at the time “Smith remarked.

After some time had passed, Smith said that he “learned that [Weinstein] was attempting to sell the rights to [Dogma]” for $5 million. When asked about the idea, Smith said that he would “have nothing to do with it” if Weinstein was “still tied to it.” He went as far as trying to purchase the video back, which, according to him, made him “feel extremely bad about since we didn’t want to give him money.”

“However, at the same time, it’s just like my movie, but he already has it. He is putting it up as a ransom, “said Smith. “The devil himself owns the rights to my movie, which is about angels. If there is just one way out of this situation, then we might purchase it off from them.”

According to Weinstein, his proposals were too low to be considered.

“Look, I like Dogma just as much as the next person, but I can’t pay $5 million for it because (a) I don’t have that kind of money and (b) the market no longer supports that price. The age of streaming services is here. The last time I heard from anybody, it was another business telling me that he wouldn’t sell my movie back to me. I asked myself, “What else am I capable of doing?” There is hardly much to see here. You may make a loud fuss about it, but I really doubt that somebody still follows the news.”

The filmmaker, whose film Clerks III is now playing in cinemas and who had previously addressed the Weinstein rights dispute in a tweet earlier in 2019, said that his film “about paradise” is currently in a state of uncertainty.

By Elen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *