Talking Legion M’s upcoming project slate with David Baxter

Photo credit: Legion M, acquired from Legion M public relations
Photo credit: Legion M, acquired from Legion M public relations /

David Baxter previews upcoming projects for Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company, and shares why pop culture fans will find a home in the Legion M community.

The world’s first fan-owned entertainment company, Legion M, took the floor at WonderCon and was involved with several panels, all to celebrate fans and preview its exciting upcoming slate of projects. Coming off the success of their “instant cult-classic film” Mandy, they’ve since announced their “first self-published comic book and feature film project” Girl With No Name, and an original television project, Evermor, with showrunner Andrew Cosby.

Legion M has something for fans with interests in a wide range of genres. With its fast-growing community of more than 75,000 members and 15,000 fan-investors, the entertainment company is currently screening Field Guide to Evil in select theaters (and bringing horror fans together for in-home viewing parties), and is working to help promote Fox Searchlight’s Tolkien by crafting fan viewing experiences for the film’s theatrical run premiering May 10, 2019, and has also joined Kevin Smith’s Jay And Silent Bob Reboot as a financing partner.

We had the opportunity to talk with David Baxter, Legion M’s Vice President of Development, about a few of the entertainment company’s upcoming film, television, and comic book projects, and why Legion M presents a unique opportunity for pop culture fans.

Hidden Remote: How is Legion M uniting fans and what would you say to fans who are thinking about investing and joining the community?

David Baxter: What Legion M is and it’s power is in its community. So, what I would say is, the investment is almost a side issue. You can join without buying shares. What we’ve done in three years, which I am most proud of, is that we have amassed 75,000 creative fans of whatever they love. They all love things and somehow we’ve managed to put them all in the same direction. You’d think it’s impossible; it’s like herding cats. And yet when that group all has a singular vision in terms of we want to support something, we’re going to consume it, but we want to show the world we’re proud and happy to be doing it.

That’s what’s happened — what I didn’t expect to happen. I didn’t know…I had no idea that we’d be where we are now. I mean, we’re working with a studio. We’re promoting a story about JRR Tolkien, one of my heroes. So for me, this…it’s been an incredible experience. I have a job that allows me to travel around the country and speak to fans, hear what they have to say, hear what their creative aspirations are, and encourage them to join because they literally get a shot at having a say in what is made.

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So, I’m overjoyed because these are my people, and I feel like I’ve found in the team at Legion M, people who really care about fandom. We’re not cynical about it. I think cynicism is so easy to happen in the entertainment industry. When you have companies that are owned by corporations, those corporations have a fiduciary duty to maximize profit, minimize risk, and monetize art. What we do is put ‘monetize art’ number one. Make the artist the most important thing, then make money, then try to keep our risk low. But at the beginning, you’ve got to take risks, and I feel like we’re Hollywood back in the 1930s. That’s kind of my take on it.

Hidden Remote: What drew Legion M to Fox Searchlight’s upcoming Tolkien film, and how will the Legion M community be promoting the film?

Baxter: It’s about creativity, about the purity of creative and the power of friendship. And that’s what Legion M’s about. Literally, Tolkien is about what we want a community to be like. Filled with love and honor and all the things the world we live in kind of fights against.

Legion M will be doing our meet-ups. For all of our films, we have a platform where people can sign-up to either lead a meet-up anywhere in the country and it becomes like a party at every theater where it’s going to be playing. We’ll have our exclusive giveaways, pins and things you can’t get anywhere else…our fans want the whole community to rise.

Watch the latest trailer for Tolkien with Nicholas Hoult below:

Hidden Remote: And what can you tell us about Legion M’s involvement in the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot?

Baxter: Oh my gosh, well we say in our mandate we want to try to do original work, so it’s like, why are you doing a reboot? It’s because it is a parody of reboots. It makes fun of sequels. That’s the whole purpose of it. It literally is identical to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The structure of the movie is exactly the same, and that’s the joke.

And we love working with Kevin Smith. We feel he is one of the few true fans who is also a talent. So, when an opportunity emerged that we could be involved in it, we [jumped on it]. And he has three million people who love and him, and he wanted them to know about us.

Hidden Remote: Congratulations on Girl With No Name project. Can you talk a bit about your reaction to the Kickstarter campaign?

Baxter: Oh my gosh! So, Girl With No Name came to me because I am working with a director named Tanya Wexler…and she wanted to bring this script to our attention. It was a really great script for a number of reasons…and she thought ‘Well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do a comic book?’ We’re like, this is really cool. It’s a great script. Let’s do it.

This is our first time doing a comic book. It’s pop culture, but in terms of production, we’re not a comic book company. We said let’s test the waters by doing a Kickstarter and see if people like this idea. We said, ‘Okay, let’s try to raise $6,000,’ just to see if we can get some printed and sell a few. Within two hours, we passed $6,000, and within a day or two, we passed $20,000, $30,000, and today, we’re almost at $80,000 with 19 days to go.

So this is wonderful, and the perks will allow people to actually be involved in the development of the comic book into a movie. It started as a feature film and it will be a feature film. This is one of the most exciting projects for me because it acknowledges the power of fans. And our director’s a woman, our producer’s a woman, all of the artists involved in making the comic book are women. It’s great.

To learn more about Girl With No Name and how you can be involved in the project, visit the Kickstarter page

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Check back with Hidden Remote for more news about Legion M’s upcoming projects, and be sure to visit their website for the latest updates and information about fan meet-ups near you.