‘Iron Cross’ Director Threatens to Sue Variety for Bad Review

Last week, news broke that Variety may have killed a bad review of the film “Iron Cross” shortly after selling $400,000 worth of ads to launch an Oscar campaign for the film. Now, the film’s director Joshua Newton is considering suing Variety for what he considers and old fashioned shakedown scheme.

“We weren’t just simply advertisers,” Newton told Defamer’s John Cook. “We did a joint venture with Variety to promote Iron Cross. It was not a decent thing to do.”

More from Defamer:

A Variety salesperson first approached [Newton] last summer, he says, to pitch him on a $400,000 ad campaign-on the very same day that Variety editor Timothy Gray just happened to mention Iron Cross out of the clear blue sky as a potential Oscar contender in a column. “We were put on a short list of Oscar contenders by the editor himself,” Newton says. “The sales department-on the same day the column ran-rang me up and said, ‘Hey, did you know you’re on our list of Oscar contenders?’ I won’t say anything else, but you get the gist of what went on.”

Newton and his investors bit, and purchased a raft of omnipresent ads and slots for Iron Cross in the Variety Screening Series-usually reserved for Oscar contenders-in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

But the deal went sour when Koehler published his scathing review in December (you can read the Google cache here). “They made a very big fuss over us,” Newton says. “So you can imagine how I felt when, on the day of the San Francisco screening, I got a phone call from my publicist reading that review. I was quite taken aback. It just didn’t make sense. It was completely contrary to the campaign.”

Previously on FBLA: Was ‘Variety’ Paid Off to Kill a Bad Movie Review?