In today’s movie news: The inside story of how Extraction executive producer David Guillod was charged with 11 felony counts in sexual assaults on four women; R.I.P. Joel Schumacher, and some interesting Michael Keaton/Batman news.
David Guillod Charged: In October 2017, actress Jessica Barth wrote this post for TheWrap saying a former manager had sexually assaulted her in 2012, without naming him. I was an editor at TheWrap at the time and edited the post, and later interviewed Jessica for this story, in which she called the manager out by name: David Guillod. Guillod denied it. For a long, lonely week, it was her word against his. But behind the scenes, more women were speaking out. I remember many difficult talks with them, as they courageously shared their accounts, or corroborated the accounts of other women. Their bravery enabled the publication of this Nov. 10, 2017 story, detailing accusations that Guillod had raped three more women. Years went by. Calls to authorities were met with vague replies that an investigation was ongoing. And then, yesterday, Guillod was charged with 11 felony counts that precisely reflect the women’s accounts in the Nov. 10 story, and Jessica’s original account. It took nearly three years, but prosecutors appear to have corroborated exactly what the women described. Compare their accounts to the charges listed in this story yesterday: Prosecutors believed the women.
Guillod’s Statement: His attorney, Philip Kent, says that “for the past eight years, Mr. Guillod has denied these allegations” and cooperated with law enforcement. He adds that “an overwhelming amount of evidence has been collected over the course of this investigation disputing these charges.” Kent continues: “Mr. Guillod has been vilified for eight years without being afforded the opportunity to examine under oath his accusers. Justice is rarely swift and often does not come easy; but Mr. Guillodvery much looks forward to clearing his name in the appropriate forum.”
How Did David Guillod Get an Extraction Credit? You may be wondering how a man accused of sexual assault by four different women in the #MeToo era got an executive producer credit on Netflix’s biggest movie of 2020. The answer is this: Guillod was involved in an early version of Extraction way back in 2013, before Barth’s 2012 accusation was public, and before he is accused of assaulting the three other women, in 2014 and 2015. He has an executive producer credit because of that early connection. He was not involved in the day-to-day production on Extraction. I asked a Netflix rep yesterday if his name might be removed — as it was removed from other projects in 2017 — and was told the company has no immediate comment. Guillod also has an executive producer credit on Atomic Blonde, but again, does not appear to have been actively involved in the film.
R.I.P. Joel Schumacher: The director, who found the pulpy center of material ranging from The Lost Boys to Batman and Robin, died at 80 after a long fight with cancer, Variety reports. He made movies fun. “For Batman Forever, the openly gay Schumacher introduced nipples to the costumes worn by Batman and Robin, leaning into the longstanding latent homoeroticism between the two characters,” Variety writes. Darned if I don’t quote one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze puns every day. Here’s a great Joel Schumacher anecdote from Minnie Driver:
#JoelSchumacher was the funniest, chicest, most hilarious director I ever worked with. Once,on set,an actress was complaining about me within earshot; how I was dreadfully over the top (I was)Joel barely looked up from his NYT+said “Oh Honey,no one ever paid to see under the top”
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) June 23, 2020
Michael Keaton as Batman Returns? Umberto Gonzales, one of my favorite people in movie reporting, broke the thrilling news that Michael Keaton is in talks to return as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a new Flash movie. Keaton played the Caped Crusader in two Bat-movies for Tim Burton before Schumacher took over the franchise.
And now, yesterday’s movie news.