Spike Lee’s new movie Oldboy is tanking at the box office, but that might not be the worst news for him this weekend.
The director is being accused of posting a facsimile of an artist’s poster concept on his social media pages without the person’s approval and, later, dismissing the artist’s complaints via Twitter.
The official poster art in question features Oldboy star Josh Brolin leaving a large trunk on an expanse of green grass. Artist Juan Luis Garcia says his submitted art to an ad agency working on the film’s campaign bears an uncanny resemblance to that image, right down to the person leaving the trunk, the green grass and the stormy clouds overhead.
Garcia maintains he could not come to a financial agreement with the ad agency but the firm essentially stole his idea all the same. Lee put the image up at his Facebook and WhoSays pages to spread the word about the film.
The artist goes to great pains to defend Lee, to say how much he admires the director’s approach to art and to suggest Lee himself wasn’t directly involved with the matter. But since Garcia hasn’t made any headway regarding the agency behind the poster he wrote up an open letter to Lee on his personal web site to get some answers.
I am a fan of your storytelling and respect your success as a filmmaker, artist, and person. I definitely relate to your passion for the Knicks and competition, just ask my wife and family. I wish you nothing but success with Oldboy and all of your future projects. I hope we can resolve this between us because the agency refuses to work with me and they have tormented me and my family enough. Please feel free contact me at your convenience.
Lee responded via Twitter:
I Never Heard Of This Guy Juan Luis Garcia,If He Has A Beef It’s Not With Me.I Did Not Hire Him, Do Not Know Him. Cheap Trick Writing To Me.YO