Like clockwork, the debates over the historical accuracy of this year’s awards hopefuls have commenced. When Oscar voting begins, so does the urgent scrutiny of based-on-real-life dramas. Cue the think pieces about the creative license filmmakers should or shouldn’t have taken with movies such as Selma, Big Eyes, Unbroken and The Imitation Game.
But this year, there’s an angry voice in the mix that’s a little unexpected, and it’s that of Mark Schultz, the subject of Foxcatcher. His Twitter feed and Facebook page offer a window into his longtime ambivalence over having his life dramatized.
On Tuesday Schultz took to Twitter and Facebook with a somewhat sudden and intense burst of anger. He has since deleted the tweets, which railed against director Bennett Miller and included such missives as, “YOU CROSSED THE LINE MILLER. WE'RE DONE. YOUR CAREER IS OVER. YOU THINK I CAN'T DO IT. WATCH ME.” And: “I HATE BENNETT MILLER.”
In the movie, Channing Tatum plays Schultz as a lost and impressionable wrestling champ on the skids, who falls under the spell of a mentally unstable millionaire, John du Pont. Steve Carell plays du Pont, a wrestling enthusiast who offers Schultz money, housing and a state-of-the-art gym facility to field a wrestling team that will, du Pont portends, be destined for greatness and Olympic gold.
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Schultz has been upfront about the fictional twists in the movie.
“In #Foxcatcher the movie my relationship with duPont is fiction,” he tweeted Dec. 21. “He was so repulsive I could barely tolerate him. I was there for $ only.”
Schultz released a book, also called Foxcatcher, in November, which he says sets the record straight. He has since followed up with more level-headed words on social media but doesn’t regret standing up for himself. “My story and my life are real. I am a real human being,” he wrote. “While I may have tweeted out of anger, I in no way regret standing up for myself, nor do I regret calling out the only other man who has had decision-making power concerning my image and legacy these past years.”
Miller has yet to respond to the criticism. And whether Schultz’s diatribe will affect Oscar voters remains to be seen. Nominations are announced Jan. 15.