Tentpole producer goes indie with 'Electric' docu
As a producer, Dean Devlin wreaked cinematic havoc on the planet in “Independence Day” and “Godzilla.”
Now, he’s gone eco-friendly — and on a much smaller budget.
Devlin financed and exec produced “Who Killed the Electric Car,” a doc being released June 28 that explores why General Motors developed and then killed an electric-charged car, even though it was swift, cheap and clean to run, and beloved by drivers from Mel Gibson to Tom Hanks.
Gadfly documaker Michael Moore called the film and the Al Gore doc “An Inconvenient Truth” a one-two punch, and Devlin would be thrilled with grosses on a par with the global warming-themed pic.
But he admits that a pro-environment tale is a hard sell. he wonders if the auto and oil industries that killed the electric car are engaged in a disinformation campaign toward his film.
“It’s either anti-spin coming from oil and car companies or journalistic laziness, because the same factual inaccuracies show up in nearly every report on our movie,” says Devlin, citing a cable news interview of the doc’s director Chris Payne, in which a crawl stated that the cars took forever to charge, and nobody wanted them.
Says Devlin: “These claims are absurdly untrue.”
Devlin’s next project aims a bit wider.
His WWI aviation drama “Flyboys” will be MGM’s first big test as a pure distribution company. Devlin raised $60 million to shoot the Tony Bill-directed pic, and another $20 million for P&A. The film opens Sept. 29 on 2,000 screens, and Devlin thinks MGM is onto a good thing.
“It could be a dream come true for any producer who wants to work outside the studio system and still make commercial movies,” he says.