Recently, film auteurd and contributor to Mediatrocities, Ernie Tarté, was kind enough to allow me onto the set during the production of “Napoleon,” an epic Stanley Kubrick intended to create but could not before he passed away. Despite some production problems and what I perceived as unusual casting, Tarté’s film seemed to be flowing along.
Therefore, the news that Steven Spielberg took up Kubrick’s production idea came as quite a shock to my filmmaker friend. He called me immediately rather distraught and outraged with an email and voicemail he decided to share with me.
The following is the email Mr. Tarté sent to Mr. Spielberg. Just below that you will find the link to the voicemail he sent to the Oscar-winning film director. Needless to say, he’s rather angry and threatening legal suit.
It’s my understanding that you have a new production of Napoleon in the works for a TV miniseries. You claim that Stanley Kubrick first began this endeavor years ago.
This email is to inform you that I, Mr. Ernie Tarté, had first dibs on this project and consider your project to be proprietary theft. I stole Kubrick’s Napoleon first, and you can’t have it. Attached to this email is audio proof of my work on this picture. Please refer your high-powered, overpaid Hollywood lawyers to it.
It’s not enough that you’ve stolen my initials for my film (I’m still awaiting the royalty checks for E.T. ™ ), but you’ve now stolen the idea that I’ve stolen from the ultimate idea stealer. As such, you are now in violation of the law and everything decent that exists on Earth—all the cancer-curing plants, cute baby animals, laughing children at playgrounds etc., etc., etc.
Watch my jaws: I do not possess artificial intelligence, so you do not wish to have a close encounter with me. In so doing, you will embark on your last crusade. Should you enter a duel with me in this temple of doom, it will be terminal. I have combative lawyers who have always turned past defendants the color purple.
Under California’s Statute of Copyright Repossession, I am entitled to the return of all rights to Napoleon, plus a penalty fee of $250 billion. All checks should be made out to Ernie Tarté, 1060 W. Addison, Basement Apartment, Chicago IL 60613.
My lawyers will contact you immediately and incessantly at all hours, day and night, until this matter is settled.
Catch Me if You Can,
MR. Ernie Tarté