The experimental 1995 indie film that Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire attempted to bury has been pulled from video sharing website Vimeo.com after the project’s producer attempted to release it online.
The actors reportedly hated the finished version of director R.D. Robb’s Don’s Plum, which was subsequently pulled from release thanks to legal action on behalf of its stars, but earlier this month producer Dale Wheatley challenged the duo’s legal representatives by posting it on his website FreeDonsPlum.com.
The film, which also features singer Jenny Lewis, Kevin Connolly and Jeremy Sisto, was accompanied by a statement from Wheatley. It read: “Although the film remains banned in the U.S. and Canada, as a writer and producer I am making the film available under my copyright for the sole purpose of promoting my work as an independent filmmaker.”
And on Wednesday, Wheatley added an open letter to leading man Leo, stating, “I can no longer remain silent. I can no longer allow the defamation and lies that you perpetrated against Don’s Plum to scar the great work of the artists who created it. I’m not afraid of you or your lawyers anymore. I have endured enough. I’m going to speak with the freedom that our Constitution affords me.
“I’m going to stand up for our film and for every one of the people who helped make it… I don’t know you anymore, Leo, but I hope that you’ve learned a little bit about film preservation and your responsibility to protect and contribute to the ongoing experiment of filmmaking… you are not bigger than art, Leo.”
“In a single night in 1996, you made a series of hasty and wildly irrational decisions that hurt a lot of people,” he adds. “By abruptly cutting off all communication with me and RD Robb, you cut off your access to the truth.”
Don’s Plum was subsequently picked up on Vimeo.com and hastily taken down.
Explaining the decision to remove the film, a statement read: “Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire claiming that this material is infringing.”
According to previous suits filed by DiCaprio and Maguire, they appeared in the movie as a favor to their friend, under the condition that it never hit U.S. cinemas.
Robb and the film’s producers have refuted that claim. The film is no longer available on FreeDonsPlum.com.