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 Did Paltrow's Karaoke Flick Get Canned By Disney?!

Gywneth Paltrow & Karl Detkin on the set of DuetsDuets was scheduled for release on May 5th, 2000 by Touchstone Pictures, but an article in The Hollywood Reporter (2/14/00) reports that they've pulled it from their schedule for 2000, and are "quietly" looking for another distributor to sell this film to. The reason given is that Disney is concerned about the level of violence in the film (I was surprised to hear that there was any...!). As such, the May 5th date no longer is a certainty, and we really won't know until the distribution situation is cleared up. (2/16/00) A Studio Briefing news item reports that Disney is denying that the reason for the potential sale of this film has to do with the violence. a Disney source says the problem has nothing to do with gore: Director Paltrow refused to make edits the studio wanted, and then balked when it decided to give the film a limited release. When Disney allowed Paltrow to shop the picture, he found no takers. According to Karl Detkin from Pioneer Media and an advisor to the filmmaker, Disney wanted to squeeze it into the summer block buster releases and the producers said no way and took the movie back. They are currently shopping it somewhere else at another studio. 

Paltrow couldn't be reached for comment, but screenwriter John Byrum ("The Razor's Edge") says, "It's not a movie for everyone," although he does allow that "if Bruce had made a couple of these changes Disney requested, it [probably] would have had a much bigger release."

"Duets" follows several karaoke singers as they work their way into a singing contest in Las Vegas. The Hollywood Reporter says one of the scenes that Disney's new studio chief objects to involves a shooting of a character during a karaoke performance. Disney has yet to decide when-or how widely-"Duets" will debut  Disney exec Peter Schneider said "We think it should be a small release, and the filmmakers are unhappy about that."  Karl Detkin went on to say, "With Gywneth as the star and her father the director and co-bank roller it WILL be released later in the year." This story should get its resolution soon.


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