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'Spring Breakers 2' Producers Respond to James Franco's Criticisms

Yesterday, Spring Breakers star James Franco, who received critical raves for his performance as the cornrowed drug dealer Alien, issued a harsh statement for the filmmakers behind the sequel Spring Breakers: The Second Coming, which neither he nor director Harmony Korine are involved with. In case you missed it yesterday, here's the actor's statement in full.

STATEMENT ABOUT Spring Breakers 2: This is not being done with Harmony Korine or my consent. The original was wholly Harmony's creation and these producers are capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel. I want everyone to know that whoever is involved in the sequel is jumping on board a poison ship. It will be a terrible film, with a horrible reason d'être: to make money off someone else's creativity. Can you imagine someone making the sequel to Taxi Driver without Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's consents? Insanity! I'm speaking up for Harmony and his original vision and for any creative person who cares about preserving artistic integrity.


Today, while shopping the sequel at the Cannes Film Festival, producers Chris Hanley, Roberta Hanley and Jordan Gertner fired back with statements of their own, with Chris Hanley taking the actor to task by listing the multiple sequels he has been involved in.

"Let's see if I can remember all of the sequels James has done. Oz: The Great and Powerful, Spider-Man, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and he's pushing hard to help set up the Pineapple Express sequel. I guess he thinks only 'too big to fail studio films' are the artistically valid ventures."


The producer also noted that the sequel will be directed by Jonas Åkerlund (Spun) from a screenplay by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, while stressing that the track record of their company Muse Productions (American Psycho, Buffalo 66, Freeway) speaks for itself.

"These aren't weak or lame artists, and I think our track record speaks for itself."


Hero Productions' Jordan Gertner noted that both Muse and Hero own the rights to the original, and that they had a great working relationship with Harmony Korine.

""We had a great relationship with Harmony Korine and now we're exploring a new incarnation of Spring Breakers. (Hero and Muse) have all rights to all prequels, sequels, remakes, animation spinoffs."


Despite not having written or directed the film, Chris Hanley cited European legal terms for ownership, stating they have the certificate of authorship.

"We have the certificate of authorship for this work."


Roberta Hanley added that they are trying to foster relationships with important artists in Hollywood.

"We've done nothing but smuggle important artists into Hollywood."


It's also worth noting that, earlier this month, Spring Breakers producer Wicks Walker sued both Muse Productions and Hero Entertainment for breach of contract.

No cast members have been announced for Spring Breakers: The Second Coming, which centers on a new group of characters on spring break who run into a militant Christian organization trying to convert them.
Spring Breakers: The Second Coming comes to theaters in 2015. The film is directed by Jonas Åkerlund.
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