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A messy medieval epic that caused controversy and lawsuits wins a streaming power struggle

Historical inaccuracies were the least of the movie's concerns.

via Splendid Film

The historical epic is a genre that often comes under fire for inaccuracies, with the filmmakers regularly batting away criticism by claiming that artistic license was an integral part in telling the right story designed to bring in the biggest audience. While that was part of the controversy surrounding 2018’s Redbad, it was only the tip of a contentious iceberg.

Originally set to be the middle part of a trilogy, director Roel Reiné followed up 2015’s Michiel de Ruyter by telling the story of the titular king. Unfolding in 754 AD, the Viking-era hack-and-slash ended up causing an online firestorm so huge that any plans about a third film focusing on William of Orange went up in smoke.

via Splendid Film

Besides the lack of historical truthfulness that had Dutch scholars up in arms, YouTube and Facebook refused to even show the trailer for Redbad because it was deemed to be offensive to a large number of people, particularly in regards to the Christian community. As much as that neutered the film’s chances of box office success, the backlash was far from over.

A little over four months after Redbad‘s June 2018 rollout, the producers sued YouTube for 200,000 Euros after illegally pirated copies of the finished product were allegedly viewed in excess of half a million times across the site. It was a disaster in every sense of the word, then, but a renewed lease of life on streaming may heal a small fraction of the gaping wounds.

As per FlixPatrol, Redbad has entered the Prime Video Top 10 in five different countries, none of whom seem too concerned about the international incidents that it nearly caused. But, hey, it does have Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Jonathan Banks, so there’s that.

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Scott Campbell

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