Rumor: Uwe Boll's career cut short by new German tax law?

Source: Various sites, most citing an entry on Wikipedia, are tolling a death knell for director Uwe Boll's career. The official story: See below. What we heard: According to the Wikipedia entry, people invested in Boll's films to use the losses as a tax write off, and changes to German tax law...

Source: Various sites, most citing an entry on Wikipedia, are tolling a death knell for director Uwe Boll's career.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: According to the Wikipedia entry, people invested in Boll's films to use the losses as a tax write off, and changes to German tax law set to take effect in 2006 will prevent that from happening. Boll has become somewhat notorious of late for scooping up the film rights to a number of games and quickly turning around box office turkeys with them. So far the director has struck out with adaptations of House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark. An early review of BloodRayne was not kind (nor was Boll's apparent retort), and we've still got adaptations of Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, Hunter: The Reckoning, Postal, and Fear Effect in the hopper.

Right off the bat, we can tell you that the bit about German tax law changing is not bogus. For a look at the current tax law and how mainstream movie studios take advantage of it for any kind of production (not just guaranteed bombs), check out this April article published in the Web-based magazine Slate. In short, Germans who invest in German-owned film ventures can take a tax deduction on their money whether the film has gone into production or not. This gets taken advantage of when studios play a shell game with the ownership of their films, selling it to German owners who will write off their investment before the studio buys it back for less money than the film was sold for in the first place. The German investors get their tax write-off, the studio defrays some of the movie's cost, and both sides walk away happy.

However, this is far from the only tax loophole movie studios take advantage of. According to the Slate article, Paramount managed to make Tomb Raider, a film with an on-paper budget of $94 million, for under $7 million. The German tax law loophole only accounted for a little more than $10 million, while a similar loophole in British law saved another $12 million. The real windfall for Paramount came from selling distribution rights to the movie to six countries where the Tomb Raider property was especially popular with teenage boys. Those deals in Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain alone brought in $65 million.

E-mails sent to Boll from GameSpot seeking comment about how he expected the change in German tax law to impact his ability to raise capital for his films went unreturned. However, it seems unlikely to end his career, as some have predicted. First and foremost, a number of countries have similar tax breaks to encourage local film production that could be exploited to secure funding. Second, if Tomb Raider is anything to go by, it's the distribution rights that bring in the big bucks. Boll's not dealing with properties of that size, but he is targeting a number of dormant and second-tier gaming franchises that can likely draw enough interest from the gaming crowd that it shouldn't be hard to find distributors willing to pay for them. He also sprinkles the films with some surprisingly well-known stars who just aren't at their career peaks, further adding to international distributor appeal.

A more cynical site might even suggest that Boll is a business genius, intentionally cultivating an Ed Wood-like cinematic car-wreck culture around his films that makes them must-endure experiences for gamers. The licenses and fading star power he picks up will make their money back in distribution rights and ticket sales from morbidly curious gamers, and whatever tax law loopholes he can take advantage of along the way are just icing on a rotten, rotten cake. On the other hand, why would a steely-eyed business genius feel the need to get behind the camera for every one of his films and subject himself to the never-ending parade of critical evisceration? You have to figure that on some level, the guy just loves making movies.

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus. Anyone resourceful enough to get a BloodRayne movie made won't be stopped by a simple tax code amendment. Or anything short of silver bullets and holy water, we suspect.

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Discussion

31 comments
J_Gerrity
J_Gerrity

Sam Raimi made a film with a few close friends from school, and it became a cult classic. Ed Wood thought his work was brilliant, which makes watching them worth it when we realize it's quite the opposite (he didn't make bad movies on purpose, in other words). With Uwe Boll, I don't think bashing him is a trend; his work in the Game-to-Movie industry is abysmal. When it comes to making a movie based on a game, you hold true to the game, or it becomes a self-absorbant piece of crap and a money grab, plain and simple. True, it may seem popular to bash Uwe Boll, but in all honesty, are you prepared to defend him on this? Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead were terrible movies, and now that same direction is going to be put to Far Cry, Dungeon Siege, Postal, Fear Effect and Hunter: The Reckoning. And you know what else is at risk? Half-life and Metal Gear Solid; Boll's in a bidding war to win those rights over. Call my bashing him trendy, but just watch as these games get chewed up and regurgitated onto celluloid...

Yash
Yash

ps2/3 suks xbox/360 da best ya no farcry movie

malkav11
malkav11

He might be this generation's Ed Wood. I wouldn't know. But not Raimi. The thing is, Raimi has talent. The Evil Dead movies are low budget, sure, but they're a lot of fun. And he's proven he can handle large budget moviemaking too, most recently with the Spiderman movies. Boll...from all I hear...has none. As for why videogame companies let him make movies based on their franchises...well, it's revenue for them. Not many *good* directors are willing to take on a video game movie, especially given their fairly dismal record in terms of critical and popular appeal. (Which, admittedly, isn't helped by the sucky directing.)

IClavdivs
IClavdivs

You all are just cappin on him cause it's trendy to do so. Uwe Boll is the Ed Wood/Sam Raiimi of our generation, plus he has the business acumen to bring budgets to his movies that the aforementioned could only have dreamed of when they made Plan 9 and Evil Dead. House of the Dead was one of the best new bad zombie movies I've seen in a while. It has a certain charm that higher budget movies like 28 Days Later lack (not saying this is a bad movie, In fact I like it a lot) despite the fact that the acting was piss-poor, the editing was choppy, and the fact that the video game sequences between scences were just downright cheesy. Still, you could make many more cutting criticisms about older zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, and Night of the Living Dead, but few do because we don't love them because they are brilliant pieces of cinema, we just love them because they are old and over the years they have wormed their way into our hearts and brains. I feel House of the Dead is one of those movies, just give it ten years or so and it'll be classically bad. And go easy on the guy, bad video game movies are way better than no video game movies, in my opinion.

umbrae
umbrae

Just cannot believe anyone would sell any rights to this guy. I have not played House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark since I saw his movies, and they were games I really enjoyed. Its a sad sad world we live in...

BigDeebo
BigDeebo

The only thing that'll stop that man from making another wretched movie is if we stop paying to see anything he makes. I call for a worldwide boycott of all Uwe Boll films! Stop him before he runs another franchise straight into the crapper!

plague32390
plague32390

When I saw House of the Dead(I didnt pay for it, it was on TV), I wanted to stab my eyes out with rusty nails and prey for tetanus. It was just so.....bad. I hope that this law is passed and he never makes a movie ever again.

Seymour47
Seymour47

At least Dr. Boll gives everyone something to agree on. It's just impossible for anyone to like this poor excuse for a homo sapien.

ShockG707
ShockG707

If this rumor is true hopefully I can cancel the hit and get my money back.

shockwave04
shockwave04

I hope its true, That guys needs to dissapear.

nytrospawn
nytrospawn

Hideo would never let anyone touch MGS, especially if its Boll.

Elcar
Elcar

Ugh. He makes terrible movies. The only questions I have is why does he make the movies so bad. He takes a good game and makes a bad adaptation on film. If he'd just stick to the game's story and characters, he might have a good movie.

ElmntEarth4Life
ElmntEarth4Life

Did anyone go to wikipedia? He might get the rights to Metal Gear Solid and Half Life. Can anyone say travesty?

Chibi_Kaji
Chibi_Kaji

And here I was hoping this would stop him...

Night_Frost
Night_Frost

Want bad Karma, watch House of the Dead, that'll make you wanna fly to his home and give him a nice big **** slap, someone, plz, end this guy's career, knowing him, he'll make Far Cry make Ubisoft want to cry, I'm glad he isn't doing the Halo movie, cause if he did, I'm gonna kick his bad-directing ass

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

I've never seen a Uwe Boll movie, nor do I want to see one. Seems he takes really bad games and makes aweful movie adaptations of them. Seems nothing can stop Uwe though... too bad, he'll just keep on adding to the already huge pile of sh*tty movies out there.

glunky
glunky

the worst movies i've ever seen were directed by him... someone please kill him x_X

Silverblade-GR
Silverblade-GR

Honestly there isn't much in Far Cry movie-wise that can be destroyed apart from the scenery. Unless he decides to move the plot to an urban slum setting...

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

The ONLY movie I think he CAN'T ruin would be Postal. I'd go into the movie knowing EXACTLY what to expect...

cat_empire
cat_empire

Why is Boll being allowed to make a Far Cry movie, it just isnt right, who let him have the rights, were they drunk or high cuz personally i cant think of any other reason. I would like to call on all video game fans to totally pass up any films he releases in future so that film publishers will get the idea that an Uwe Boll not making films in the Uew Boll that we like.

ewjim
ewjim

ENOUGH parodies of good games...

Stunn
Stunn

The only reason I'd watch "Bloodrayne" is if it has lots and lots and lots of **** **** Uwe Boll. His career is based off of adapting video games. He doesn't have a creative bone in his body. He thought the only bad thing with "Alone in the Dark" was Tara Reid's acting not the bad begining... or ending... or the middle... or everyone's acting. What ticks me off the most are the video gamers. They complain about his ****-tastic movies and yet they still pay to watch and rent them. They hate everything about Uwe Boll and yet they still watch his movies to see how bad it is. Well, at least a few do. According to RottenTomateos.com, "Alone in the Dark" made $5,132,655 at the box office. "Alone in the Dark" was the only review I've read in the Rocky Mountain News that got a "F". I consider that reviewer the best around too. Why is Boll still allowed to movies? "Alone in the Dark" was the dumbest thing ever and Mr. Boll still sees it as art. I've seen home movies better than the junk he makes. His movies are not even the bad that's fun to watch because it's so cocky. They're just bad. I can record my cat walking around the house and find it more amusing and entertaining than whatever he spits out of his rear end. He thinks he's above all of us too and has stupid excuses like "time and budget issues" for why his movies didn't go well with the fans. He can't write or direct. So why in the hell does he have a job? He would probably make a lousy door greeter at Sam's Club. Who gives a damn if he " the guy just loves making movies.". I like making crappy flash videos but I'm not going to shove my work in everyone's faces. I suck at flash and I admit that. I won't show you my crap because it's... well... crap. Boll's movies are crap and he won't admit it. Gamespot and IGN need to start putting him down and stop trying to be un-biased. The next article I would like to read about Boll is one of the following: "Boll quits" "Boll found dead in bathroom" "UbiSoft upset over Far Cry's direction" I do kind of think people like me are the reason he's allowed to be making these movies. I think someone needs to make a website that would hurt the esteem of people like Boll. The little maggot is ruining my games and he doesn't even care.

mrsaucy
mrsaucy

I love how much you shut the **** up! He rox04Z!

cyrax05
cyrax05

I just hope he never makes Far Cry. Whoever sold him the rights to the film adaption, of the brilliant game, is a moron

Shorty252
Shorty252

I just wish he would stop...

griftgfx
griftgfx

He called Harry fat! I love how quickly people descend into personal attacks when they can't think up anything better to say. Childish, but then again, those movies could have been directed by a child. It's not unreasonable for him to consider these movies a success though--The fact that someone had the balls to distribute them is a success in itself.

m3g4t0ky0
m3g4t0ky0

Aww, I wish this rumor were true. The end of Uwe Boll is desperately needed.

Polybren
Polybren

Source: Various sites, most citing an entry on Wikipedia, are tolling a death knell for director Uwe Boll's career.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: According to the Wikipedia entry, people invested in Boll's films to use the losses as a tax write off, and changes to German tax law set to take effect in 2006 will prevent that from happening. Boll has become somewhat notorious of late for scooping up the film rights to a number of games and quickly turning around box office turkeys with them. So far the director has struck out with adaptations of House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark. An early review of BloodRayne was not kind (nor was Boll's apparent retort), and we've still got adaptations of Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, Hunter: The Reckoning, Postal, and Fear Effect in the hopper.

Right off the bat, we can tell you that the bit about German tax law changing is not bogus. For a look at the current tax law and how mainstream movie studios take advantage of it for any kind of production (not just guaranteed bombs), check out this April article published in the Web-based magazine Slate. In short, Germans who invest in German-owned film ventures can take a tax deduction on their money whether the film has gone into production or not. This gets taken advantage of when studios play a shell game with the ownership of their films, selling it to German owners who will write off their investment before the studio buys it back for less money than the film was sold for in the first place. The German investors get their tax write-off, the studio defrays some of the movie's cost, and both sides walk away happy.

However, this is far from the only tax loophole movie studios take advantage of. According to the Slate article, Paramount managed to make Tomb Raider, a film with an on-paper budget of $94 million, for under $7 million. The German tax law loophole only accounted for a little more than $10 million, while a similar loophole in British law saved another $12 million. The real windfall for Paramount came from selling distribution rights to the movie to six countries where the Tomb Raider property was especially popular with teenage boys. Those deals in Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain alone brought in $65 million.

E-mails sent to Boll from GameSpot seeking comment about how he expected the change in German tax law to impact his ability to raise capital for his films went unreturned. However, it seems unlikely to end his career, as some have predicted. First and foremost, a number of countries have similar tax breaks to encourage local film production that could be exploited to secure funding. Second, if Tomb Raider is anything to go by, it's the distribution rights that bring in the big bucks. Boll's not dealing with properties of that size, but he is targeting a number of dormant and second-tier gaming franchises that can likely draw enough interest from the gaming crowd that it shouldn't be hard to find distributors willing to pay for them. He also sprinkles the films with some surprisingly well-known stars who just aren't at their career peaks, further adding to international distributor appeal.

A more cynical site might even suggest that Boll is a business genius, intentionally cultivating an Ed Wood-like cinematic car-wreck culture around his films that makes them must-endure experiences for gamers. The licenses and fading star power he picks up will make their money back in distribution rights and ticket sales from morbidly curious gamers, and whatever tax law loopholes he can take advantage of along the way are just icing on a rotten, rotten cake. On the other hand, why would a steely-eyed business genius feel the need to get behind the camera for every one of his films and subject himself to the never-ending parade of critical evisceration? You have to figure that on some level, the guy just loves making movies.

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus. Anyone resourceful enough to get a BloodRayne movie made won't be stopped by a simple tax code amendment. Or anything short of silver bullets and holy water, we suspect.