Filmmaker Kevin Smith, currently out promoting his third “Clerks” film, says that his 1999 religious satire “Dogma” is being “held hostage” by disgraced and incarcerated movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Speaking with The Wrap recently, he was asked why the film isn’t available on any streaming service and isn’t available to buy anymore (it has long been out of print on home video). He says it all ties back to Harvey Weinstein.

The film was released theatrically by Lionsgate domestically, Miramax internationally, and Columbia/TriStar had the home video rights for a limited time with those rights subsequently lapsing. The rights were then reportedly owned by Harvey Weinstein.

Then in 2017, Smith says he received a call from Harvey Weinstein “out of the blue” about a potential “Dogma” sequel or TV series – the call coming one week before The New York Times published its exposé about the assault and rape allegations against Weinstein.

Smith mentioned Weinstein had abruptly called him to former Miramax executive John Gordon who allegedly said Weinstein “called everyone because he knew the story was coming, and he wanted to find out who spoke [to the Times].’” Smith says:

“I was like, ‘That makes perfect sense.’ I’m guileless, I don’t see all the angles. He was calling not because he wanted to do anything with Dogma. He wanted to see if I was one of the people who had spoken to the New York Times. I hadn’t, because I didn’t know any of that stuff.”

Years later he learned that Weinstein was trying to sell the rights for $5 million and the mogul reportedly “scoffed” at an offer by Smith and his lawyers to buy it back:

“He’s holding it hostage. My movie about angels is owned by the devil himself. And if there’s only one way out of this, maybe we could buy it away.”

Then two months ago Smith learned a new company has the rights to the film, but Smith suspects Weinstein “changed the name of the company and maybe sold it to a different shell company. My movie about heaven is in limbo.”

“Clerks III” is now playing in theaters in limited release and will be on PVOD shortly.

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