Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire starred in a movie that was released online in December of last year much to the actors’ disapproval. “Don’s Plum” was a short, black and white indie film which initially hit European theaters in 2001 (ref). DiCaprio and Maguire had the film banned from the United States. Dale Wheatley, one of the filmmakers and producers, posted the film in an open act of rebellion against the actors. DiCaprio and Maguire found the film and promptly removed it on January 21st, 2016 (ref).
This movie incident is not an easy fix, but it is also not the end of the world.
DiCaprio has been nominated for an Oscar. His name is already in the spotlight, so he does not need the boost in publicity, but this story is stirring up conversation about Maguire. His name is back in the news which is the first time in a while. I do not believe this film release was a stunt for him; although, it could have been. Maguire will be fine as long as he explains his point of view. The public likes him more than Wheatley anyway.
“Free Don’s Plum” is the blog which Wheatley runs to help explain his own side to the story (ref). The blog goes over the controversy in detail and, in the process, hurts Wheatley’s reputation by proving that he values “art” over the agreement he made with both actors
Wheatley wrote an open letter to DiCaprio that I would call mellowdramatic. “I don’t know you anymore, Leo, but I hope that you’ve learned a little bit about film preservation and your responsibility to protect and contribute to the ongoing experiment of filmmaking…” Wheatley wrote on his blog (ref).
Neither DiCaprio nor Maguire really have anything to worry about. Wheatley is punching holes in his own boat. This is just another opportunity to get the actors’ names in public view and remind people that they are still there.