London Fields (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mathew Cullen|
|Based on||London Fields|
by Martin Amis
|Distributed by||GVN Releasing|
London Fields is a 2018 mystery thriller film directed by Mathew Cullen with a screenplay by Roberta Hanley and Martin Amis, based on the 1989 novel of the same name by Amis. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton as Samson Young, a terminally ill writer who has suffered from writer's block for 20 years. The cast also includes Amber Heard, Jim Sturgess, Theo James, Cara Delevingne and Jaimie Alexander.
It was selected to be screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, but it was later pulled from the festival roster after director Mathew Cullen sued the film's producers, accusing them of fraud and using his name to promote a cut of the film he does not support. After the producers reached a settlement with Heard in a separate lawsuit, London Fields was released theatrically in the United States on 26 October 2018.
- Billy Bob Thornton as Samson Young
- Amber Heard as Nicola Six
- Jim Sturgess as Keith Talent
- Theo James as Guy Clinch
- Jason Isaacs as Mark Asprey
- Cara Delevingne as Kath Talent
- Gemma Chan as Petronella
- Jaimie Alexander as Hope Clinch
- Johnny Depp as Chick Purchase (uncredited)
David Cronenberg was attached in 2001 to do a film adaptation of the book, and Amis wrote a draft of the script. However, Cronenberg left the film for A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Other directors attached include David Mackenzie and Michael Winterbottom. The film entered production with Mathew Cullen in September 2013 in London, England.
On 16 September 2015, it was reported that Lionsgate had originally acquired distribution rights to the film, but latter dropped the film. The official trailer for London Fields debuted on 5 June 2018. The film was released theatrically in Russia on 20 September 2018, followed by a release in the United States on 26 October 2018 by GVN Releasing.
In September 2015, the film was pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival, after Mathew Cullen filed a lawsuit against the film's producers, for fraud, failing to pay him, and taking away the final cut. The producers responded to the lawsuit stating: "The timing and the content of the director's lawsuit shows that it is a publicity stunt. The filing of Mathew Cullen's complaint violates the arbitration provisions of his own guild, the DGA. Sadly, Mathew can't deal with the fact that he does not control the final cut of the movie. He was given two deadlines to deliver a 'director's cut' and missed both deadlines. His guild has rules for withdrawing his name from the picture and he missed those deadlines. The production company will vigorously oppose the lawsuit." In November 2015 the producers counterclaimed for breach of contract, saying they had terminated the director's formal editing rights period and notified the Directors Guild of America when the film was $2 million over budget and late for delivery. They accuse Cullen of violating both his agreement with them and DGA rules by working on a music video for Katy Perry during his time editing London Fields, and further that Cullen withheld promotional support and committed tortious interference by discouraging the film's stars from performing promotional and post-production services. In April 2016, a judge allowed the case to proceed.
In November 2016, a second lawsuit was filed by the producers suing Amber Heard for $10 million. The lawsuit claims Heard and Cullen made unauthorised changes to the film's script and failed to finish voice-over work. Heard countersued claiming the producers violated a nudity clause in her contract. In September 2018, the producers reached a settlement with Heard.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $168,575 in the United States from 613 theaters with a per-screen average of $261, becoming the second worst US box office opening for a wide release film of all time, behind Proud American (2008).
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 0% based on 34 reviews, with an average rating of 2.6/10. The critics consensus reads, "London Fields bungles its beloved source material and an intriguingly eclectic cast, leaving audiences with a would-be neo-noir of interest only to the morbidly curious." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 16 out of 100 based on 12 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".
Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com gave the film 0.5/4 and described it as a "boring and garish mess that even fans of the book will find nearly impossible to follow." Jeannette Catsoulis from The New York Times called it "horrendous" and "a trashy, tortured misfire from beginning to end".
Writing for The Independent, Kaleem Aftab rated the film one out of five stars, writing, "Most scenes lack pace, are performed badly and are accompanied by a running commentary of action we can see for ourselves. It's car-crash film-making. Of the characters, it's only the uncredited Depp, the coolest guy in the room, with his dapper dress sense and long sideburns, who comes away with any credit."
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- Gardner, Eriq (19 November 2015). "'London Fields' Producers Allege Director Violated Contract". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- Cullins, Ashley (22 April 2016). "Judge Allows 'London Fields' Countersuit to Proceed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
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- Sobczynski, Peter. "London Fields Movie Review & Film Summary (2018) - Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "Review: In 'London Fields,' Sex, Apocalypse and Writer's Block". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Aftab, Kaleem (17 September 2015). "London Fields, Toronto Film Festival, review: Dystopian drama is no field day to watch". The Independent. Retrieved 9 March 2016.