Don't look for Belinda Carlisle's son to follow in his famous grandfather's big (screen) footsteps anytime soon. James Duke Mason sent out a message to supporters of his successful Kickstarter campaign letting them know that he is no longer a part of "Disappear Here," the political thriller he was aggressively promoting, because he was unable to reach an agreement to re-option the script from the writers, Matthew Mishory (who is also directing) and Robert Zimmer (who is also producing). Zimmer says they will recast the role, despite the fact that a widely hyped teaser trailer had already been released online. You may recall that Mason had also involved his father, Morgan Mason, who produced "Sex, Lies and Videotape" in 1989:
Duke tells his Kickstarter supporters:
I am writing you to update you on the situation with regard to our film project DISAPPEAR HERE.
As you know, the funds that were raised through Kickstarter were used for writing fees to Matthew Mishory and Robert Zimmer, and to produce the teaser trailer we released in April which can be seen on YouTube. Without going into too much detail, the option I had on the script was for 18 months, and that expired on July 9th, 2013.
Much to my great disappointment, I was unable to come to terms with Matthew and Robert for an extension of the option. The result of all this is that, as the owners of the screenplay, they have decided to go ahead with the project without my involvement. They have assured me that they will honor all of the commitments made to the Kickstarter contributors when/if the film is eventually produced.
Having spent 4 years of my life developing this, you can imagine how upsetting this turn of events is for me, and how bad I feel about not being able to deliver for you. I want you to know that in the future, if I participate in another Kickstarter film project, I will include you and the incentives promised to you during this project as a show of good faith, without any further contribution on your part.
Thank you again for all your support and faith in me.
James Duke MasonOuch. We all know how much it hurts when you pour your heart into something for so long only to have it ripped out from under you, but such is show business. (If I had a dime for every time a friend in Hollywood was "this close" to his next big role ...) Zimmer told me he would characterize the parting of ways as "amicable":
We wish the Masons the very best, and continued success for Duke in his important political advocacy work. "Disappear Here" will still be made -- there was just a fundamental disagreement as to how to get it done. I know the Masons share our gratitude for all of the Kickstarter supporters, and for everyone who shares our belief in equality. The film will carry on reflecting that bold spirit. AND -- we'll have new casting and production announcements in the next couple of weeks. :)So looking ahead at a replacement -- keeping in mind the film's modest budget -- I'm thinking James Deen seems like a possibility, or maybe Jonathan Groff, who is openly gay. There may be some other changes ahead. Stay tuned.