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Inside Move: ‘Glass’ houses

Lions Gate and Esquire nix Blair's stone throw

All publicity is not, apparently, good publicity.

After facing vocal criticism, Esquire magazine has decided to shelve plans to have Lion’s Gate’s “Shattered Glass” reviewed by disgraced New York Times reporter Jayson Blair.Pic tells the story of writer Stephen Glass and the stories he fabricated while at D.C. mag The New Republic.

Esquire editor David Granger says the outpouring of criticism had nothing to do with the reversal.

“We decided to cancel the assignment because word leaked out about it,” he says. “It was intended as a joke that readers would see when they picked up the issue. All the news reports took away that element of surprise.”

The initial idea for Blair to try his hand at movie criticism came out of discussions between the publicity team promoting “Shattered Glass” and editors at Esquire. The magazine then reached out to Blair.

But not everyone involved in the film thinks it was a hot idea.

“Glass” helmer Billy Ray tells Variety, “My personal feeling is that what Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass did were very dangerous,” says Ray. “And what concerns me is that Esquire would give Blair a forum that in some way validates what he’s done.”

He adds, “On a strictly selfish level, no matter what Blair says, it hurts the movie.”

A positive review from Blair, he explains, could be just as damaging as a negative one. “I’d rather have Glass review it,” he says.

Blair will have to settle for the kill fee Esquire is paying, which will go to a charity of his choosing.

And he’s now reportedly in the movie biz himself, shopping a treatment for adapting his saga for the screen.