Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hollywood In Sight: "The Runaways" Film

We are pleased to report that the new film entitled "The Runaways" starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Michael Shannon opened nationally yesterday after having its Los Angeles red-carpet premiere Thursday March 11, 2010. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, two of the founding members of the first all-female rock and roll band "The Runaways". Michael Shannon - nominated for an Academy Award for his role in "Revolutionary Road" - co-stars as our friend and client, the legendary music impresario Kim Fowley.

So far the word on the street is that Michael Shannon almost steals the film from Stewart and Fanning - the stars of the latest "Twilight" movie. According to the L.A. Times, Shannon plays Kim with "a delicious twisted perverseness" and "infuses manic life and libido into the crazy, controlling genius in caftans". We had the pleasure of representing Kim in the negotiations with the film's producers several years ago for the rights to his story. Since we knew that the movie would be based on Cherie Currie's acidic tell-all biography and that every great story needs a villain, we anticipated that Kim's character would be portrayed as a combination of a psycho-Svengali and Fagin. Thus for us the toughest task in the negotiations with the producers of the film was to ensure contractually that the producers, writer and director did not take too much liberty with the characterization of Kim. The producers initially resisted our efforts to place limits on their right to shape the character, but this was deal-breaker for Kim and eventually we were able to strike a compromise that was acceptable to all parties. That's not to say that Michael Shannon's portrayal of Kim doesn't show him to be a tough taskmaster that wrangled a bunch of teenagers to help them achieve their dream at a time when almost anything was ok in the name of achieving success. But The Runaways rocked when women weren't supposed to do that and were a genuine sensation in that gap between the end of the 60s and the coming of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc. Thus Kim's characterization in the film may not be flattering by modern standards. But, that is - as they say - entertainment. More to follow when the film opens in San Diego...

For a link to a photo of Kim Fowley, Michael Shannon, and the film's director Floria Sigismondi
click here.
For a movie clip where Kim introduces Cherie Curie to Joan Jett click here.

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