One of the biggest film mysteries of 2006 still remains unanswered: Why did Fox bury the release of IDIOCRACY, the new live-action film by KING OF THE HILL and BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD creator Mike Judge? Today’s LA TIMES has an op-ed piece by Patt Morrison about this topic, though it doesn’t really offer much in the way of answers. I’m surprised that the LA TIMES didn’t treat this as a news story and interview people like Judge to get to the bottom of the story. A Fox spokesman says in the piece that the film was always planned as a “limited release” but limited releases rarely (if ever) get treated this poorly, especially for a well-reviewed film from an established filmmaker like Judge. I’m more inclined to agree with the line of reasoning presented by the TIMES’s Morrison:
Did Judge’s film, by sheer happenstance, mirror Rupert Murdoch’s blueprint for a Fox-fed nation of fat, dumb and happy? Is the problem a threatened lawsuit over the way “Idiocracy” treats corporate America? Starbucks in 2505 serves speedy sex acts with the coffee, and Carl’s Jr. and H&R Block get the same rough handling. But that’s why studios have lawyers, and that’s why we have the 1st Amendment.
Perhaps it’s been cast out of distribution Eden for the same reason that Newsweek made “Losing Afghanistan” its cover story last week in every country except the United States. We got a cover story about a celebrity photographer….And that would be because Americans are being mollycoddled and infantilized. If we’re not getting the truth – even delivered via satire – it might be because leaders think we can’t take it, or they may be afraid of what we might do if we did get it. President Bush dismissed leaked intelligence reports critical of the Iraq war because they could “create confusion in the minds of the American people.” Goodness no; don’t confuse us with information.
And since Fox won’t allow people see the film, you can download a PDF of the film script HERE and find out what you’re missing.