Kevin Smith’s Dogma is a religious satire centered around two fallen angels, cast out by God, who are trying to find their way back to heaven. The film brought a modern twist to religious characters, like making God a woman until the people transformed her into a man, the appearance of a 13th apostle who never got his work included in the Bible because he was the only Black guy, and the shit demon (of course).

Smith did an overall good job with the religious satire, never taking the film too far into its satirical nature to bluntly make fun of religion.

Not everyone agrees. The then-CEO of Disney, Michael Eisner, told Harvey Weinstein to not make the “hot button” film since it could and would evoke the wrath of religious groups before the film entered production. It seems that Weinstein seems to have changed his mind about the film over the years.

Why is the "Devil himself" holding on to the rights?

In an interview with The Wrap, Smith revealed why Dogma isn’t available to stream or buy anywhere.

“In order to tell the story, unfortunately, I’m going to have to say the name that nobody wants to hear anymore. But of course, Harvey Weinstein figures into the story,” Smith said. “After a decade, he remembered that I was part of the Miramax family. And he remembered that he had Dogma and had a cool cast.”

Although Lionsgate released the film, Columbia/TriStar got the home video rights for a limited time, “but then the rights lapsed,” Smith said. About a decade later, Smith received a call from Weinstein about a potential Dogma sequel or TV series. This was in 2017—a week before the New York Times published the expose about Weisteins’s assault and rape allegations.

When Smith mentioned to former Miramax executive John Gordon that he had been in contact with Weinstein, Gordon allegedly said Weinstein “called everyone because he knew the story was coming, and he wanted to find out who spoke [to the Times].” Smith said, “I was like, ‘That makes perfect sense.’ I’m guileless, I don’t see all the angles. He was calling not because he wanted to do anything with Dogma.

Smith claims that Weinstein called “to see if I was one of the people who had spoken to the New York Times. I hadn’t because I didn’t know any of that stuff.”

Why you can't watch 'Dogma' anywhere'Dogma'Credit: Lionsgate

The future of Dogma

Desperate to get the rights back to his film, Smith and his lawyers tried to buy the film rights back when Weinstein was trying to sell them for $5 million. Unfortunately, Weinstein “scoffed” at his various offers, refusing to sell Smith back his rights.

“He’s holding it hostage,” Smith said. “My movie about angels is owned by the devil himself and if there’s only one way out of this, maybe we could buy it back.” Smith learned a few months ago that “a new company” now has the rights to the film, but he is sure that the same company with a new name to distance itself from the controversy still holds the rights.

If there is anything to take away from this, it’s to push for an industry-standard clause that should be proposed regarding rights to projects to protect the creator’s work and prevent something like this from happening ever again.

Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

Source: The Wrap