POLANSKI: THE BACKLASH TO THE BACKLASH
The case that official misconduct took place in 1978 prior to the sentencing of Roman Polanski on child molestation charges was severely undermined Wednesday when a retired prosecutor said that he lied about his role in the case in a documentary. David Wells had claimed in the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that he had participated in a private meeting with the judge in Polanski's case, Laurence Rittenband, and urged him to set aside a plea agreement and impose a stiffer penalty on Polanski. But, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Wells admitted, "The reality is that it was a lie." He said, without additional explanation, that he had lied because he thought the documentary would only be shown in France. Meanwhile, a backlash to the backlash following Polanski's arrest has begun. In an editorial, the New York Times asked "Where is the injustice in bringing to justice someone who pleads guilty to statutory rape and then goes on the lam, no matter how talented he may be?" On the front page of Wednesday's Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez said that he would like to ask Polanski's defenders "whether, if the victim were their daughter, they'd be so cavalier about a crime that was originally charged as sodomy and rape before Polanski agreed to a plea bargain." Overseas, support for Polanski also appears to have moderated. "The case involves a great director but still, it is also a case of rape, of sex with a child," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said. Even in France, where Polanski has lived since fleeing the U.S. 30 years ago, government spokesman Luc Chatel said Wednesday, "Roman Polanski is neither above nor below the law. ... We have a judicial proceeding under way that is a serious affair, the rape of a minor." Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times writer Joe Flint observed that the major tabloid TV shows like Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have barely mentioned the Polanski case. Flint expressed amazement that the story had been shunned "even by that lover of all things tabloid, CNN's Larry King." He continued, "Though one might argue that these shows are more fluff than news, certainly a story that has caused debate around the globe about a director who's worked with Hollywood's biggest stars is worth some sort of cursory coverage."
STUDIOS PUTTING PRESSURE ON NETFLIX
The home-entertainment units of 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. are in talks with Netflix to gain a greater share of revenue from the online DVD rental company, BusinessWeek reported on its website Wednesday. The magazine said that at least one of the studios, Warner Bros., has given Netflix a "take it or leave it" offer -- that it pay more for each DVD disc or receive the discs "sometime after" they are shipped to retailers. The magazine noted that the studios "have lots of carrots" to offer Netflix. It noted that Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes recently told an investor conference that the studio might give Netflix more of its TV shows for Netflix's online streaming service in return for additional revenue for its movies.
JACKSON MOVIE BOOKED IN IMAX VENUES
Although 3D and IMAX venues are usually booked months in advance by movie distributors, Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater chain, said Wednesday that it is making 25 of its IMAX locations available for the screening of the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It beginning October 27. In a statement, Dick Westerling, head of marking and advertising for Regal, said, "Michael Jackson's This Is It advance ticket sales are extremely popular at our theatres across the country, so we are pleased to continue this momentum by adding the film in The IMAX Experience at 25 locations."
PAST PIXAR MOVIES MAY RETURN IN 3D
The Walt Disney Company, which once regularly brought back its animated features to the screen every seven years, may do something similar with its nine Pixar films -- except that the reissues will be in 3D, Disney's chief creative officer John Lasseter has hinted in an interview with USA Today. On the eve of the release of Toy Story 1 and 2 as a theatrical 3D double feature on Friday, Lasseter said that his "fingers are crossed" that the previous computer-generated animated features will receive a second life in movie theaters. Ordinarily Disney releases its animated features on home video, withdraws them for several years, then re-releases them again. Lasseter said that "what is most exciting" about the double-feature release of the two Toy Story films "is that a whole new generation of moviegoers can see both films in the way that they are meant to be seen, in a shared audience environment."