Feature Film News

Here you can find news about the possible feature film. The AG DVD Petition News can be found on their own page.

27. April 2004

Well it seems like Empire Online jumped the gun a bit (see previous update). Facts:

  • Fathom Motion Pictures does not yet hold the rights to American Gothic.

  • I have been informed that 'in principle', the rights have been committed to Fathom, but the final word will not be spoken beforethe NBC-Universal deal has been completed. (And, I'd expect, the organisational structure of the new company is clear.)

Of course this also means that none of the actors have signed a contract yet.

So we just have to keep hoping and campaigning!

26. April 2004

Many thanks to Kim on the Jake Weber Yahoogroup for pointing out this brand spaking new Empire online article:

Buckin' Hell -Sheriff Buck returns in American Gothic - The Movie

Please let it be true!!!

21. April 2004

Good news about the NBC-Universal deal: According to this Hollywood Reporter article (subscribers only), the Federal Trade Commission gave the deal a thumbs-up:

NBC-Universal deal clears FTC hurdle

By Kathleen Anderson and Georg Szalai
NEW YORK -- The NBC-Universal merger is nearing the finish line after clearing its last regulatory hurdle Tuesday.

After several months of exploration, the Federal Trade Commission informed both sides Tuesday that it will not oppose the combination of General Electric's NBC unit and Vivendi Universal's entertainment operation. European regulators had already given the transaction the go-ahead. NBC and Vivendi Uni said in statements late Tuesday that they plan to complete the merger within "the next few weeks."

Of course this doesn't mean that NBC-Universal will go back to 'business as usual' immediately, but this is an important step in that direction. I'll keep you updated.

19. February 2004

A message from Craig A. Marquardo, President of Fathom Motion Picture Company:

I have become aware of a few rumors I would like to dispel.

  • AG will be proceeding with the feature film and TV series rebirth, but not until the sale is final between Universal and NBC.

  • Gary Cole, Nick Searcy, Brenda Bakke and Jake Webber will be reprising their roles. No others.

  • Sean Cassidy will not be involved, although the premise, feel, and ambiance of the movie will follow his original vision.

  • Sam Raimi (and Rob Tapert) are attached as producers. Sam said that once we are in a more forward position, he will consider directing, but in no way has that agreement happened as yet.

  • Lucas Black, although one of our favorite actors, and having made the show, will not be participating in the film as Caleb. The age difference is simply too great. And no, we will not change the entire scope of the film to accomodate his now mature age. (Look for him in a cameo role as another charater perhaps? An idea we are talking about.)

While we are thrilled with the massive support and enthusiasm the fans have for the show, it is very important for us at this very tenuous stage to not allow unfounded rumors to be spread about.

I appreciate your love for great entertainment, and we hopw to make this hope of ours a reality as soon as possible. Bear with us.

Thanks for the update Craig!

Regarding NBC's planned purchase of Vivendi Universal's U.S. entertainment assets: According to HollywoodReporter.com (only subscribers have access to the full article) on 2. January 2004:

NBC: 2nd FTC request standard

General Electric's NBC unit confirmed Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has issued a second request for information on its planned merger with Vivendi Universal Entertainment but said it was standard procedure rather than a reason for concern. USA Today had reported that regulators made the request because of concerns about the clout of the merged entity's cable networks. "We are in the middle of a normal regulatory review process," NBC said. "A second request for information is a standard part of that practice."

26. November 2003

Little Magic Films, a Japanese company which bought the rights to AG for that country a while ago, are interested to invest in a feature movie. Check out these news items at Fangoria and Moviehole.

31. August 2003

Well, we have been noticed at Universal! I was kindly asked to remove the name and e-mail address that I had up as contact regarding the AG feature film. Please send further messages in support for more American Gothic and a release of the original series on DVD, through the Universal home page's contact form.

18. July 2003 - contact Universal please!

More news, and first of all, an urgent request: It seems that Universal will soon decide whether or not to give their OK for an AG feature film, a possible new season and DVDs of the original series. Yes, you read that right. But if there's no film there may not be a series or DVDs either. So if you want to help bring our beloved AG back, send a message at [e-mail address removed at the request of a representative of Universal]. And best do it quickly, as the decision will be made soon!

You may also want to send a message to Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi's business partner at Renaissance Pictures:

Robert Tapert
Renaissance Pictures
315 South Beverly Drive, Suite 216
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Fax 310-785-9176 (add your international access code and a 1 if you fax from outside the US)

Thanks for your help!

I also got some information about their plans with the feature film. From the original main cast, the plan is to get the following people back: Brenda Bakke, Gary Cole, Nick Searcy, and Jake Weber. They would all be asked to stay on for the series. Lucas Black is obviously too old to play Caleb now, so they would like to get Haley Joel Osment for the film, and then use another actor for the series. It certainly is good to hear about Gary, Nick, Brenda and Jake being asked to return. I haven't seen any of Haley's films, so I can't comment on this choice, besides saying his looks are more 'innocent' than Lucas Black's.

So what can we expect from the film? To quote my source:

"We are going to ignore season 1. We are going to take the pilot and some other episodes, and use them as the basis for the film, redoing everything from scratch as if the series never happened. Then wrap it up at the ending... then have 'AG: Revisited' premiere on Sci-Fi channel. In a Season 1, picking up where the movie left off. [...] Some things will stay, some will change... like we will be keeping Jake [Weber] on the show."

The intention behind this appears to be to go back and undo some of the changes that were forced upon the original series by CBS.

Of course, even when the intention is to make things better, there is the danger of going too far with the changes. As a fellow Gothnik said, "After waiting all this time it would be tragic if they screwed up." But with at least some of the original creators, and most of the main cast members potentially involved, let's hope that they'll be able to stay true to the unique atmosphere and quality of the original series! In your messages to Scott Stuber and Robert Tapert, tell them what you love about AG, and that we want this done the right way.

Stay tuned for more news as it happens...

6. July 2003

I decided to put up a separate page for news related to the possible AG feature film.

A message from Craig R. Marquardo, president of Fathom Motion Picture Company (who have a new homepage):

"I have been distracted fromt he AG project because other films moved a lot faster and needed my attention. I am pleased to let you know that Jake Weber and Brenda Bakke have both been signed to reprise their roles in both the feature film version, and then for Season 2 of the series."

They are only in the early planning stage, so it's still a ways to go, but let's hope that they manage to pull this off, and that as many of the original cast as possible will return. It doesn't look like Shaun Cassidy will get involved, however, as he is busy with other projects.

23. March 2002 - Important AG News!!!

I hope you're sitting comfortably on something you can't fall off of... because I found some very exciting news about a week ago! I would like to say in advance for those who are skeptics, that as far as I was able to determine, their source is "for real".

Get this: There are plans for a feature film version of American Gothic, based on the series!!!!! I found a mention at the site of Fathom Motion Picture Company (see link at the end of this mail). Very excited, but not quite daring to hope I had read correctly, I immediately checked with them, and here's the summary of the information they gave me:

  • Fathom are in talks about the movie with Sam Raimi, Shaun Cassidy, and David Eick. They are very firm in their plans to shoot it, although the timing is very iffy at this stage.

  • The original cast can all come back. Craig R. Marquardo of Fathom, who would executive produce the feature, has spoken with them all personally. The only issue will be the ages of the younger characters. Lucas Black, for example, may no longer be suitable to play Caleb. So the trick would be trying "to find an actor to compare to his superior performance." (VERY tricky one!)

  • Depending on the success of the feature, they will also try for a re-release of the series on television after the movie, and then a possible season two and beyond after that!!!!!

Regarding the DVDs, they told me that according to their information, Universal is not going to release them, as they don't feel the profits will justify the costs. Also, apparently Universal sold their television arm to USA Films a few years ago, and although they are now merging again, it will take them a while to sort out the rights to swapped projects.

I am sure that, although that last bit about the DVDs is a bummer, you are just as excited as I am about the chance of a new AG project!!!! Of course, nothing in the movie industry is ever "final," but Marquardo seems to be an AG fan too, so I am sure he and his company will do their best to realize this feature film and make it a success. And keep in mind that, if this is a success, and especially if the series returns, there is still a chance of the original series being released on DVD! So we have one more reason to make sure that the feature movie WILL be a success! I assured Fathom of our support should they need it, so please spread the word! And while you're at it, why don't you leave a (short!) message at the guestbook of the Fathom homepage, and also drop a line to Shaun Cassidy and Sam Raimi at the addresses I have up on page 3?

For those who want to check out the information at the Fathom site - scroll down to the last third of the page, and you'll find it shortly before the "Television" title.

I decided to keep the AG DVD Petition up and running, and I hope that signatures will keep coming in - let's show that we can't be discouraged so easily!

I'll let y'all know as soon as I hear more. :-)

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26. April 2004