Dragon Tattoo Director David Fincher on New Yorker Embargo Fight: Ban All Critics From Early Screenings

After the controversy over critic David Denby’s embargo-breaking Dec. 5 review, Fincher offers a simple solution: no more early screenings for anyone on earth.
‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher agrees with producer Scott Rudin, who said New Yorker critic David Denby was “lousy and immoral” to break an embargo and review the film early, on Dec. 5, and banned Denby from future screenings.

But Fincher fought with Rudin over the very idea of early screenings and advocates banning everyone.

“Embargoes … look, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t show movies to anybody before they were released,” Fincher told Miami Herald critic Rene Rodriguez. “I wouldn’t give clips to talk shows. I would do one trailer and three television spots and let the chips fall where they may….If I had my way, the New York Film Critics Circle would not have seen this movie and then we would not be in this situation. I would be opening this movie on Wednesday Dec. 21, and I would have three screenings on Tuesday Dec. 20 and that would be it.”

“That’s where [Rudin] and I get into some of our biggest fights,” he continued. “My whole thing is ‘If people want to come, they’ll come.’

Fincher thinks word of mouth sells movies, not critics: “The most valuable film critics are usually those people who come see a movie with their Blackberry and then text their friends ‘It sucked,’ or ‘It’s awesome — You should see it.'”‘


1 Comment
  1. sputnik 10 years ago

    “I appreciate all of this, David, but you simply have to be good for your word. Your seeing the movie was conditional on your honoring the embargo, which you agreed to do. The needs of the magazine cannot trump your word. The fact that the review is good is immaterial, as I suspect you know. You’ve very badly damaged the movie by doing this, and I could not in good conscience invite you to see another movie of mine again, Daldry or otherwise. I can’t ignore this, and I expect that you wouldn’t either if the situation were reversed. I’m really not interested in why you did this except that you did — and you must at least own that, purely and simply, you broke your word to us and that that is a deeply lousy and immoral thing to have done. If you weren’t prepared to honor the embargo, you should have done the honorable thing and said so before you accepted the invitation. The glut of Christmas movies is not news to you, and to pretend otherwise is simply disingenuous. You will now cause ALL of the other reviews to run a month before the release of the movie, and that is a deeply destructive thing to have done simply because you’re disdainful of We Bought a Zoo. Why am I meant to care about that??? Come on…that’s nonsense, and you know it.”


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