Bennet Miller‘s latest film, Foxcatcher, hits UK theatres early this year and I for one, am seriously excited for it. Since the first trailer, performances from Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum look completely enigmatic and the story of wrestling champ Mark Schultz and his eccentric, troubled sponsor, John Du Pont, looked impeccably interesting. However, it seems not everybody is happy with how the movie has turned out. Real life Mark Schultz has taken to social media to display his disgust at how he’s been represented and it seems he blames Miller for how that has panned out.
“YOU CROSSED THE LINE MILLER. WE’RE DONE. YOUR CAREER IS OVER. YOU THINK I CAN’T DO IT. WATCH ME.” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
“YOU THINK I’M GOING TO SIT BACK AND WATCH YOU DESTROY MY NAME AND REPUTATION I SWEAT BLOOD FOR. YOU AINT’ SEEN NOTHING YET DUDE.” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
“I CAN TOLERATE A LOT OF THINGS BUT I DON’T TOLERATE DISRESPECT. WE’RE DONE BENNETT.” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
“Everything I’ve ever said positive about the movie I take back. I hate it. i hate it. i hate it. I hate it. i hate it. i hate it. I hate it” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
“I HATE EVERYTHING THAT SCUM TOUCHES. EVERYTHING!!!” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
“I HATE BENNETT MILLER.” — Mark Schultz (@MarkSchultzy) December 31, 2014
This is a serious change of heart from Schultz, who also took to his Facebook to release this statement;
“I was already an Olympic and WORLD Champion before I met du Pont. The director took my 1985 World Title away in the film. I was not emotionally fragile as critics suggest. I didn’t move to Pennsylvania to wrestle for Foxcatcher. I took an assistant coaching job at Villanova. I never looked up to duPont as a mentor, leader, father figure. He was a lot dirtier the first time I met him and he was drunk. He told me he would have nothing to do with Villanova which was the only reason I went there. du Pont was a repulsive sickening freak. I could barely stand looking at him. I never touched him except for a photo at the hall of fame and when I threw him in a headlock for a documentary. I never showed him any moves or taught him anything about wrestling. I never coached him in a wrestling match. I never read any speech he gave me. I never dyed my hair.
Dave was my older brother, not a father-figure. After I won the NCAA’s and Dave took 2nd, Dave started asking me about technique and calling himself Mark Schultz’s brother. I was a 3x NCAA Champion. Dave won once. After 1986 I started beating Dave in practice consistently. I never worked out in the new wrestling complex duPont built in the film. If du Pont ever slapped me I’d have knocked his head off. I never wrestled after Dave moved onto Foxcatcher Farms. I was doing Jiu-Jitsu at BYU. Dave was never a head coach anywhere. I was a Division I University Head Coach for 6 years. Dave was intelligent but no more than me. Just coz I wasn’t filling the silence with superfluous noise all the time doesn’t mean I was inarticulate. I earned a masters degree with a 3.6 gpa. I’m a corporate speaker and life coach. The movie doesn’t show hardly any of my victories. It focuses on only my losses.
The personalities and relationships between the characters in the film are primarily fiction and somewhat insulting. Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between duPont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that duPont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will” – Mark Schultz
I am still incredibly excited for the film and one could argue that just because a film is based on a true story does not mean it cannot be told via many different perspectives. We’ll have to wait and see if Miller’s camp has anything to say about it but in the mean time, I’m booking my ticket.