Black Water Transit still in limbo
It was ages ago that I read the book Black Water Transit in preparation for the film coming, and then nothing. I waited, and still nothing. Yet the film is ready for distribution. The problem is that David Bergstein is currently going through involuntary bankruptcy and since he owns the film the creditors and courts won't let it get sold or distributed.
It had been looking like the film that featured names such as Laurence Fishburne, Brittany Snow, Karl Urban, Stephen Dorff, Beverly D'Angelo, Aisha Tyler and Leslie Easterbrook was going to be released sometime soon, but that seems to have been pulled once again.
The film seemed to have been cleared for release in January when a deal was agreed with the current court case, but another case was hard on the heels, and that looks to have caused further problems.
I think this now looks like we'll never see the film until David Bergstein's financial problems are sorted and he decides to sell the film, something that he doesn't seem that keen to do, as you'll see from the round-up of the history of the film I'll use from the last story:
...even as this case was being settled another was being raised by a print advertising company for US $50,000. It doesn't sound that bad, until you look back on the behind the scenes production.
According to the article it was Bergstein who rejected delivery of the film because "he considered it unreleasable", a statement that would seemingly kill the chances of us ever seeing the film.
He then tried to recover the budget of the film from the completion bond company, a budget that had moved well over the intended mark. That was settled out of court too.
Then the insurance carrier for the film sued Capitol Films, Bergstein's company, asking a court to ensure that they weren't required to cover any losses on the film.
Next up Bergstein's insurance broker sued the film's insurance company for some US $20 million to recover losses on the film, mainly around the fact that they had not covered the film for the loss of budget when an accident meant that Samuel L. Jackson could not participate in the film.
Hold on though, things aren't done yet. Capitol Films was then sued by the hedge fund company who had provided Bergstein and his partner Ron Tutor with the money to buy Capitol Films, ThinkFilm and other acquisitions as well as to make films between 2004 and 2007. They were looking for some US $120 million.
Then, just before the request to dismiss the latest case came, the print advertising company weighed in.
Black Water Transit is adapted from the book by Carsten Stroud novel (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) and tells the story of Jack Vermillion, played by Laurence Fishburne, who wants to try and get his son moved from a maximum security prison. To do this the authorities want something in exchange, and when he is approached by Earl Pike, played by Karl Urban, to move his rather large personal gun collection overseas, Vermillion passes it to the feds. However, the arrest goes terribly wrong and people are left dead on both sides. Now both Pike and the authorities are after Vermillion who himself is out for some revenge.
It sounds a great film, and the book was a good read, plus it was directed by Tony Kaye, so everything looks great for the film. Just why Bergstein didn't like the film from the beginning I'm not sure.
However we did think that the film was going to get to the big screen finally, but news from Variety tells us that it's far from the case as a federal judge in the U.S. has halted the sale of the film yet again.
It seems that Bergstein was set to sell assets to raise money to pay off these cases by selling some eight hundred films that were in his libraries, Black Water Transit included, but one of the creditors don't seem to want the sale to go ahead and money to be made, they'd rather the film was totally killed off, and that's just what a Judge has agreed to do.
So the film is halted again, and I'm starting to wonder if any of these people in the courts and the creditors are actually thinking correctly, do they want their money, or are they actually after the physical assets?
Whatever the reason, they are making sure that Black Water Transit will be worthless when released. At this stage it's bound to be a direct to DVD, and any longer and I would wonder if people will remember the novel and the audience will be interested.
Why they didn't think of releasing the film in the first place and just getting as much money out of it as possible I have no idea, there doesn't seem to be any business heads involved in these decisions, for now, the direct to DVD release is going to earn them little.