All that said, after watching the REPO MEN trailer, I feel that while the two films share a premise, there appears to be little else in common. REPO! exists as a whacky art film, a sliver of cult cinema. REPO MEN looks like a gigantically-budgeted Hollywood blockbuster. And REPO MEN is NOT an opera.Right after I got off the phone with Garcia, I noticed a talkback from "tensticks", which asserts that Garcia "was a regular audience member" at the live REPO! shows. So I called him right back. "Wholesale fiction," said Garcia. "I have not seen their show." As for the allegation that the novel and screenplay of REPOSSESSION MAMBO/REPO MEN was "developed in the very same building [REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA] was edited..." Garcia disputes this on the basis that the novel and screenplay were developed in his house, where, to the best of his knowledge, REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA was not edited. What's unfortunate is that, at the end of the day, it seems like everyone got what they wanted: Bousman and Zdunich got to make their rock opera (which is now something of a cult phenomenon), while Garcia and Lerner are the sole credited writers on a major Hollywood film. There's just no real conflict here, guys. Everything's good. Nothing was stolen. End of story.
I just read the update to your post - I hadn't when I initially responded to you. Thanks for citing my blog, btw. In terms of REPO! vs Repo Man: I know that Darren Bousman has some stories to share about odd coincidences involving our two studios, so I've cc'd him here. But from my end, as the co-creator of REPO!, all I can comment on is REPO!'s well documented history as a stageplay. You've read my blog, so you've seen some of the physical evidence for this in the form of promotional flyers and such. While I agree with the basic sentiment of your follow-up article - which is a sort of 'who cares?' to the bickering over who came up with the idea of organ repossession first - I think that fans of the two films do care. Their impassioned comments are evidence of this. I know that when REPO! was green-lit as a film, and Repossession Mambo was brought up to our producers, legal teams were paid a lot of money to research the very same question that fans are now asking. To my knowledge, no evidence of Eric Garcia's short story came up during this search. As a writer, I know that just because something isn't published doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, but Darren Smith (REPO!'s co-author) and I were forced to meticulously demonstrate the history of REPO! to our legal teams, which we did. Honestly, I think that "The Telltale Pancreas" is an awesome title, and I would very much love to read the work if it ever becomes available for public consumption. Bottom-line: as underdogs in the big world of Hollywood, REPO! fans can rest easy knowing that REPO!'s long-standing history is transparent and readily available to anyone who's interested in doing just a little research. Thanks again for shining a spotlight on our film, and for wanting to hear all sides of the argument. Best, ~Terrance