View Full Version : "Cloning Christ" movie scam
06-16-2004, 01:59 PM
I just found out that this whole movie set up was a scam by the author to try and sell more books:
Title: Cloning Christ
Log Line: A genetic scientist discovers what may be the True Cross in Jerusalem and is thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse when dark forces want him dead.
Writer: Brad Weller
Buyer: Orion Publishing & Media
More: Based on the novel by Peter Senese and Robert Geis. Brad Weller and Peter Senese will produce.
In an article in the JUNE 22nd issue of "Christian Retailing" magazine they reported that the author, Peter Senese, had been duping bookstores "including Borders) by telling them that he was the cousin of actor Gary Sinise and that he was in preproduction for a $100 million movie version of the book to star John Malkovich and Viggo Mortensen.
The author set up several book signings and promised to appear along with the actors, but they were a no show.
The production company, Orion Publishing & Media, is actually the authors own production company. So he basically sold himself the rights to his own novel then started issuing press releases in order to get himself some exposure and go on a book signing tour.
Spokespersons from each actor say they have never heard of this guy or his movie.
So does this kind of stuff happen a lot? People making fake movie deals to try and push the book and/or other projects?
06-16-2004, 03:35 PM
I wouldn't say it happens a lot as in news is broken about the deal in the press, but it happens. Sure. We've always said you can't take every deal listed here and or in the trades at complete face value. This town is all about hype and perception. People say they have deals or projects going when they don't -- all the time. To some extinct it's the nature of the beast.
Actors, for example, lie about their age to try to get parts or say they were "featured" in a movie when they just walked through the shot and you can barely see them. Producers claim to have first look deals or that "Paramount is big on their script" when all it means is that Paramount is the only studio that still hasn't said "no" yet after six months of waiting.
Most stuff is pretty legitimate but if you've never heard of the people or the company (and sometimes even if you have) then there is always the possibility the whole "deal" isn't quite as good or solid as it sounds.
06-16-2004, 04:06 PM
Ah! Done Deal you summed it up nicely. Everything you said is what I ask myself whenever I hear people talk the talk.
06-17-2004, 10:28 PM
The authors, who you've never heard of, are SOLE producers on a 100m$ movie vs, assoc. producers or something...that should tell you right there.
Slimier things have been done for a dollar, hey at least they have balls.
08-12-2005, 11:20 PM
I'm curious to get more details on what happened...
08-12-2005, 11:34 PM
People in Hollywood lie?
08-13-2005, 12:32 AM
Could another lesson here be "don't write anything on assignment without getting some money up front"?
08-13-2005, 07:22 AM
Cloning Christ has already been done in ''Revelation'' A decent movie. Catch it on DVD.
08-13-2005, 11:26 AM
Oh, Mason, boy howdy, this is a GREAT story. What's keeping you from writing THIS as a script? Here's your pitch:
"It's The PRODUCERS meets PASSION of CHRIST"
By the way, I DO feel your pain.
08-13-2005, 12:13 PM
Hey, it worked for The Last Shot.
01-23-2007, 11:48 AM
Thanks very much.
- Victoria Strauss
Writer Beware Website (http://www.writerbeware.org/)
Writer Bewre Blog (http://www.accrispin.blogspot.com/)
Personal Website (http://www.victoriastrauss.com/)
01-23-2007, 12:31 PM
Robert Downey Jr. doesn't have dogs?
01-24-2007, 09:00 AM
I always had the idea for a comic book called RoboJesus.
A cult tries to clone Jesus but it goes awry, the Vatican seizes the clone replaces the missing parts with ... well you get the idea...
01-24-2007, 11:57 AM
I always had the idea for a comic book called RoboJesus.
A cult tries to clone Jesus but it goes awry, the Vatican seizes the clone replaces the missing parts with ...
01-24-2007, 01:17 PM
01-24-2007, 01:56 PM
I clicked teh Writer's Beware blog -- good job.
Amazing how reputable online magazines take this con man's press release seriously making it seem legitimate.
There is a great con story here for the screen. :)
02-16-2007, 05:24 AM
I agree with the other posters who stated there is a great story here for a movie about your experience. Although it was a very painful experience for you to go through, there is definitely humor in the tragedy here. An example is the fake call to "Gary Sinise's wife" -- this Peter guy is so absolutely pathetic that he's humorous.
Writing it might be therapeutic!
02-16-2007, 10:27 AM
Well, if that is the way the guy who was claiming to be releated to him was spelling his name, that should have been a major clue that something wasn't right, cause that is not how Gary Sinise spells his name...."Senese." :eek:
02-16-2007, 02:12 PM
Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors were my first port of call back when my focus was on publishing - and for those out there with an interest in adapting existing or proposed books, definitely worth checking them out. Even if they don't have the contact on the website, you can email them to ask (I think you still can) and they'll check around for you. (Obviously, don't be lazy about it - it's a great option when you can't find anything out the usual ways.)
Victoria was a wealth of info back on Writers Net (a forum I used to visit) and continues to help writers around the world. When she talks, I listen. FWIW. :o
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