AC: George, its been said that you changed the way that films are made and marketed. How does that make you feel?
GM: Well I think that it would probably have ended up happening anyway to be honest with you. I mean, at the time Jaws had just come out and that was really the first of what we know now as an "event picture". The studios had already done the math by the time Space War came around. The film wasnt really marketed any differently to any other movie. James Bond had a whole load of spin-off merchandise available. The only real difference was that I kept a large percentage of the merchandise royalties for my film.
So you refute the claim that you ruined cinema?
I didnt ruin cinema. The only people who ruined it are the guys who made bad films. Theres nothing wrong with trying to make something thats supposed to be popular. The trouble is that some of the people making films today are just cynically churning out the same old lazy and predictable garbage. I dont do that and Ill sue anybody that says I do.
I was going to come to that later but since youve brought it up - you do like to sue people dont you?
People have a public image of somebody who is well known. My public image is of somebody who spends all day approving toy designs to make me even more millions of dollars, calculator in one hand and my lawyer in the background drawing up law suits. Then Im supposed to sleep on sheets made of $100 dollar bills. Well let me tell you thats just not true.
Absolutely. My sheets are made of $50 dollar bills and I only approve toy designs in the morning. Who wants to spend all day looking at action figures?
So you do admit to suing the odd person here and there?
Its question of keeping control over what is legally yours. For example, in 78, Glen A Larson created a television series called Battlestar Gallactica. It contained a lot of space dogfights, aliens and cute robots. It was clearly a highly cynical rip-off of Space War. Naturally, I sued.
But Space War itself is a rip-off of various other films.
I should warn you that my lawyer is on speed dial. I can contact him with the push of one button.
But its true. You just reused various ideas and plot devices from a number of sources.
I take it youve actually got some evidence to back up this wild and legally dubious accusation?
Well the plot and characters bear a huge resemblance to Akira Kurosawas film, Hidden Fortress.
I think youll find he actually stole those ideas from me.
But he made Hidden Fortress in 1957.
He stole them from me retrospectively. I had the ideas first and then he stole them from me. The fact that he made his film first is immaterial. My lawyers are the best in the business.
Well what about Flash Gordon?
What about it?
Well it just seems to me that it contains a lot of space dogfights, aliens and cute robots. In fact thats exactly the sort of thing you were accusing Glen A Larson of stealing from you.
Which he did.
So I suppose Alex Raymond, the creator of Flash Gordon also stole his ideas from you did he? Despite writing the original comic strips back in the nineteen thirties.
He did. This sort of thing is very common. However my development and research team are working on a solution to the problem.
What sort of solution?
Well, as you know, I have a large technical team working for me who create a vast array of devices to aid the film making process. Over the years theyve perfected all manner of special effects techniques, non-linear editing, computer graphic imaging, surround sound and high definition digital movie cameras to name but a few. Well theyve also been working on a secret project to aid my legal team.
And what is that?
A legal team is a group of lawyers who work together. Dont they have schools in England?
No. I meant, what is the device youve been working on?
Its a chrono-perambulatory litigation device.
Right. And in English wed call that a
Its a machine that allows me to travel into the past and sue people.
I see. And how much did this cost?
Around thirty-seven million dollars. But Ill get that all back when I sue the ass of Alex Raymond back in the thirties.
Of course you will. You also like shutting down websites dont you?
In what way?
Well your films have an incredibly large fan following and some people have created websites devoted to them. Which you then threaten to shut down because they alledgedly misuse copyrighted images.
Yes because the copyright belongs to me. Theres a price attached to that copyright. They are depriving me of that.
But a few fan websites are hardly going to make a great deal of difference to a man with your wealth are they?
Listen pal, do you know what happens when ever a site illegally posts a picture of Lord Venom? Or C-MP the Mincing Android? Or Rik Starblaster and Princess Lovely? Well? Do you?
No. What happens?
They steal the bread right out from the mouths of my children. Would you like to see that? Would you like to steal the bread from my childrens mouths too?
Because I can arrange that. I can get them in here right now. My people can go and bring them right in here so that you can steal the bread from their mouths. Youre as bad as that Kurosawa maggot. I just wish youd say something libelous so I could sue you into the gutter.
Er, I think well leave it there. George Mucus thank you.
And I want copy approval on the interview.
George Mucus is currently consulting his legal team.