The Question (ID Number 420)...
...and the response:What I know as a certainty is that the producers of the film genuinely wanted to make a movie that would reflect well on Ishmael. Without being obliged to in any way, they allowed me to have some input at the script level, and I was able to moderate (but not eliminate) some of the excesses that have troubled movie-goers.
It was not an independent production, it was a studio production, which means the producers had to deliver the goods that presumably work at the box office. The studio (Touchstone) wanted action, violence, and conflict---not philosophy---and that's what they got. Those are the realities of Hollywood.
If I'd had my druthers, I wouldn't have made a feature film at all. Ishmael doesn't lend itself to that. But it would work as a four-part mini-series, and that's what I would've made (provided any network would run it---an unlikely proposition at best).
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