Marketing problem

Let’s see if you can help a Hollywood studio with a marketing problem.  Suppose you have made a highbrow, smart, quirky film about a man who emerges from a disabling depression by communicating only through a beaver hand puppet.  And the film is titled The Beaver.

Now suppose that the guy’s wife is played by the eminently respectable, sympathetic and likable Jodie Foster, who also directs the film.  Everybody always likes Jodie Foster, right?

With me so far?  Wonder what the marketing problem is?  Well, the problem is that the audience must sympathize with the husband and root for him to learn how to express his feelings appropriately.  And that husband is played by Mel Gibson.

See the problem?

To make things worse for poor Jodie Foster, her film was already in the can and awaiting a Fall 2010 release when the tapes of Mel threatening his real life ex were splattered across the global media.

The Beaver reportedly had a $19 million budget and finished shooting in November 2009.  The release date is now the vague “2011”.  But, never fear, the trailer is here!

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