According to Deadline, director Andrew Levitas sent a letter of complaint to MGM studios and others protesting the decision to ‘bury’ the movie ‘Minamata’ for a very specific reason: scandals and allegations of domestic violence. by his star. , Johnny Depp.
The film centers on the Chisso Corporation’s neglect to dump mercury waste in coastal cities across Japan, sparking a wave of infections and deaths that plagued locals while eating fish.
In production, Depp revives Eugene Smith, a famous photojournalist who has disconnected from the world – but has decided to take on one final assignment from Life magazine’s editor-in-chief (Bill Nighy). He’s accompanied by a Japanese translator and encouraged by a local (Hiroyuki Sanada) to help expose decades of corporate neglect.
Jun Kunimura, Ryo Kase, Tadanobu Asano, and Akiko Iwase are also part of the cast.
The feature film was acquired in the third quarter of last year by MGM. The idea was to release it in theaters and on VOD in February 2021, but the plans did not materialize. The deal came as Depp clashed with his ex-wife Amber Heard in court, defending himself against allegations of physical and verbal abuse, as part of a news story published by UK tabloid The Sun – which the actor has reported. ultimately lost. Shortly after, Depp announced that Warner Bros. asked him to drop the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, being replaced by Mads Mikkelsen.
Levitas wrote that MGM’s director of acquisitions, Sam Wollman, due to all the events, would no longer promote “Minamata” and that the company “had decided to bury the film.” Levitas therefore sent the letter not only to MGM but also to the Eugene Smith Foundation in support of the filmmakers and the Minamata Foundation.
He also demanded that MGM reconsider and believe the studio is not giving enough weight to the theme depicted in the feature film, which exposes the indifference and mistakes of a multi-million dollar company.
Read the full letter here!
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