The most recent take on the current movie situation was penned by Nan Dibble, from the Spring 1996 issue of her Helpers' Network Gazette. This news is not very optimistic, but I tend to think Nan's comments are very realistic. But you can draw your own conclusions. This was sent out to the AOL Tunnel Network on 19 July 1996:
REPUBLIC UPDATEI recently received a second bit of news about the movie! This bit is from Peg McNabb (forwarded to me by Lisa Howard) and is dated 1 March 1996:
In late June, Robyn Tsuboi, the marketing manager for B&B at Republic, was kind enough to return Nan's calls--a most unusual courtesy. The news Robyn gave Nan wasn't awful, but it wasn't good, either, and far less than Nan had hoped for. The B&B miniseries Republic president Robert Sigman and Ron Koslow jointly announced at last summer's convention is still on hold: "being researched" is the phrase used. Further, there's no specific date when it will be reconsidered. However, Robyn assured Nan that Mr. Sigman is still very interested in the project, so the idea of some kind of movie hasn't vanished, either. For at least the rest of this year, and possibly next year, for all we know, the movie is more or less back where it was: an idea in the back of the minds of Ron Koslow and Mr. Sigman.
A little background: Only Republic can make a picture. They own the rights. Ron Koslow has only the first right of refusal, meaning that if Republic decides to do a movie, they have to give Koslow first crack at writing the script. If for whatever reason he couldn't or didn't want to, then they could go to anybody they chose to write the script. The first move has to be Republic's. Second, the fandom, by itself, isn't enough to make any movie viable. At full strength, the viewership for B&B was estimated at 13 million. The people involved in fandom were less than half that, but lets call it 7 million at its best. If only the fandom watched any theatrical or TV movie, it wouldn't make back its costs. We're a core audience, but only that. Republic has to know they can attract at least double or triple that number of viewers through re-syndicating the movie afterward: that is, lining up other stations and perhaps networks in other countries willing to sign up and pay for the privilege of airing it, further down the line. Without the assurance of such later sales, the movie won't even be begun. That's partly what "researching" means: trying to line up additional buyers. The fact that no movie has been made at this point strongly suggests that Republic hasn't been able to line up enough aftermarkets to be sure of recouping the movie's costs, much less making a profit. Until this and possibly other problems are resolved, there will be no movie.
Why we're important...but not THAT important: It's not that we don't love the series enough. It's not that Republic doesn't know we're here, and that we want more B&B with a most sincere and dedicated passion. It's just that the fandom, all by ourselves, aren't enough to make a movie successful. That's a fact, and we're better off facing the thing as it is, not as we wish it were.
To be blunt, with the exception of the mass-market B&B videos, every licensee and retailer who's produced something and sold it primarily or exclusively to the fandom--whether we're talking "graphic novels," licensed paperbacks, models, calendars, whatever--has either hastily abandoned the effort or gone broke or bankrupt for their pains. We're not enough of a commercial market to keep a product afloat, unless the retailer can reach the wider market beyond the fandom. That, too, is a fact, and those who've been in the fandom awhile and seen it all happen, again and again and again, know that it's true.
It's important that we're still here, and Republic knows we are--without that, there'd be no chance of a movie at all. All the letters and postcards aren't wasted. We need to remind them from time to time that this fanatic core still exists, and therefore the more casual likers of the show are still out there too, in even greater numbers. But let's not make the mistake of assuming the fandom is all that counts in terms of getting a movie made, because that just isn't so.
Further videos: Robyn confirmed Nan's guess that, since 6 videos have already been released this year, there probably won't be any more until next year. The scheduling of further videos will be decided in the fall, and she'll check back with Robyn then. Finally, there are no new licensees either aboard or in prospect, so there'll be no new B&B licensed merchandise, except what's already been produced, for the foreseeable future. That includes books.
I have a short announcement that I've been asked to post by Lyn Musacchio.The latest and best news on the movie I've found is a recent post sent in to the BATB email digest, Of Love And Hope. This is from Teri, and it came out in issue 3.09 of OLAH. Here's her post, dated 24 November 1995:
Lyn's Hotline is being temporarily disconnected pending another move. Since she won't have the medium of her hotline for announcements, she asks that I post this for her:
Contrary to reports now circulating, the B&B movie project is still on. Robin Sobar, marketing manager for Republic, called Lyn last night, Feb 29, to tell her that the movie plans have only temporarily been set aside while Bob Sigman is working on a project that calls for his immediate attention. Mr. Sigman is still very interested in the project and has, in fact, presented his idea to a couple of backers. He has instructed Ms. Sobar to market B&B merchandise very strongly. The next 6 videos are due out in May and current sales are going extremely well.
Hi everyone,So, let me reiterate two things: First, nothing is finalized at this time. And second, if you've already sent in your opinions to Mr. Sigman regarding the movie, please do not send anything else.
I'm back again, just days after writing my first posting. I've heard something new about the movie project and wanted to pass it on. Lyn Musacchio spoke to D'vora Pariente recently, who in turn had just spoken with Barbara Bridges, Bob (President of Republic) Sigman's assistant. She says that the movie project begins officially next month, and that it's definitely in the works. This is not the production stage, but is the planning and logistics phase.
I spoke to Barbara myself a few weeks ago when I was in LA on business. At the time Bob was in Europe for two weeks, but she said then that the interest was definitely high and proceeding well. They had received lots of cards and letters, and definitely wanted that input, though she wanted those sending multiple notes to please stop, and I believe that request has since been passed on. I asked her if she could tell me what, in general, the response has looked like to date, and she had two comments:1. The idea of a third-season storyline is a waste of time, andThat's all I've got. Though we're still in the 'nothing's finalized' stage, things do, in general, look more optimistic than they ever have in terms of a BATB project. For those of you who haven't yet written to Bob, but want to get your two cents worth in, please write now as they really do want to know what the consumers want.
2. The fans definitely would prefer to have Linda Hamilton reprise her role of Catherine, but will accept recasting if absolutely necessary.
For those of you who have not yet sent your thoughts to Mr. Sigman on this issue, you can reach him at the following address:
Mr. Robert W. Sigman
Republic Entertainment, Inc.
5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 525 North
Los Angeles, CA 90036