The producer of the upcoming Drake concert film, Drake’s Homecoming: The Lost Footage, says the movie’s theatrical release and planned home-video releases will go forward despite the rapper’s protests. Attack Media chairman and Homecoming co-executive producer Mark Berry says that “nothing’s going to impact” the film’s release.
Recently, Berry told Los Angeles Times he was considering taking legal action against Drake for calling the project “unauthorized.” “It’s a money issue, but it’s also an issue where Drake lost control of this project a long, long time ago,” Berry tells Rolling Stone. “We resurrected it. We developed the interest and put the partners together. He doesn’t have any control over it, so it’s a bit of a ‘sour grapes’ scenario.”
A second source close to the film says that the movie will “definitely be shown” this Thursday.
The film captures a 2009 Drake concert, and Berry claims Drake signed off on a preview for the movie – set to run in nearly 350 theaters on Thursday via Fathom Events – and has seen an in-production screening copy of it.
Berry says there’s nothing in the film that the rapper would not want his fans to see, though a trailer for the movie finds Jas Prince, son of Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James Prince, saying, “[Lil] Wayne told me [Drake] sucked. He was like, ‘Jas, don’t play me that shit no more; he’s not good.'” The film contains concert footage and interviews with both James and Jas Prince, the latter of whom brought Drake’s music to label Young Money.
A representative for James and Jas Prince declined to comment for this story.
“It literally is a piece of history,” Berry says. “It really is his homecoming back in Toronto. It was a sold-out night. My partner, Serious Entertainment, were scared shitless they hadn’t sold any tickets up front and then bang, a line down the street at the club…. Here’s a crowd, based on a mixtape, that knows every word he’s singing. Every word. That’s the excitement you get out of the movie: you know this kid’s gonna get big.”
Earlier this week, Drake tweeted that he was not involved in the promotion or release of the film. “I feel it is my responsibility to inform and protect my fans,” he wrote. The rapper today tweeted, “James Prince and I stand together on not supporting the Drake Homecoming footage in theatres. #protectingthefans.”
Berry finds that tweet “puzzling” since James Prince has been his line in to Drake’s management from the beginning of the project. “When I saw that, I called my attorney immediately,” he says, adding that his lawyer also represents Prince and connected them in the first place. “It was a confusing tweet, so we’re still trying to get our heads around what the strategy is on his side.”
A spokesperson for Drake pointed Rolling Stone to the rapper’s tweets and declined to answer additional questions.
The L.A. Times reported that the deal Drake signed in 2009 entitled him to $15,000 and a 15 percent cut of the movie’s profits. Berry says Drake has been aware of his intentions to release the film theatrically since last November, adding that he was considering a $15 million libel lawsuit because of the tweets. The contract also had a clause stating that if the concert on film sold out – which it did – that Drake would perform another show for the producers for a fee of $5,000. Berry told the Times he was considering calling that in now, though he tells Rolling Stone he’s not sure who he’d speak to to make that happen.
“I think we have to deal with Live Nation on that issue, because Live Nation, I think, controls his concert touring rights,” he says. “We don’t really know who’s in control from a management standpoint with Drake right now.
“I’m tired of the whining,” Berry adds. “This is a movie you did when you were a nobody. You got paid money for it. You have a royalty participation in it. It’s like, come on.”