Initially it seemed that Mark Schultz, the wrestler the film Foxcatcher is based on, was on board and supportive of the project and the work director Bennett Miller had done. Now that the film has been birthed out into the world, he has changed his tune and has begun to lash out at the film and director regarding the way he and his relationship with John Du Pont was portrayed.
The film shows the tragic events surrounding the rise and fall of millionaire Du Pont’s wrestling school, Foxcatcher Farm, in the late 1980’s and the murder of wrestler Dave Schultz by Du Pont in 1996.
There are some embellishments in the film emphasizing the closeness between Dave Schultz and Du Pont during his time as his “mentor,” a fact that Dave denies. The real life Mark Schultz has taken to social media blasting Foxcatcher and it’s “lousy” depiction of the circumstances. He took to Facebook to post complains about the film.
Here is his original post on Facebook with his issues regarding the film:
I was already an Olympic and WORLD Champion before I met du Pont. The director took my 1985 World Title away in the film. I was not emotionally fragile as critics suggest. I didn’t move to Pennsylvania to wrestle for Foxcatcher. I took an assistant coaching job at Villanova. I never looked up to duPont as a mentor, leader, father figure. He was a lot dirtier the first time I met him and he was drunk. He told me he would have nothing to do with Villanova which was the only reason I went there. du Pont was a repulsive sickening freak. I could barely stand looking at him. I never touched him except for a photo at the hall of fame and when I threw him in a headlock for a documentary. I never showed him any moves or taught him anything about wrestling. I never coached him in a wrestling match. I never read any speech he gave me. I never dyed my hair. Dave was my older brother, not a father-figure. After I won the NCAA’s and Dave took 2nd, Dave started asking me about technique and calling himself Mark Schultz’s brother. I was a 3x NCAA Champion. Dave won once. After 1986 I started beating Dave in practice consistently. I never worked out in the new wrestling complex duPont built in the film. If du Pont ever slapped me I’d have knocked his head off. I never wrestled after Dave moved onto Foxcatcher Farms. I was doing Jiu-Jitsu at BYU. Dave was never a head coach anywhere. I was a Division I University Head Coach for 6 years. Dave was intelligent but no more than me. Just coz I wasn’t filling the silence with superfluous noise all the time doesn’t mean I was inarticulate. I earned a masters degree with a 3.6 gpa. I’m a corporate speaker and life coach. The movie doesn’t show hardly any of my victories. It focuses on only my losses. The personalities and relationships between the characters in the film are primarily fiction and somewhat insulting. Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between duPont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that duPont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.
He later went in and edited the end of his rant and replaced it with the following bit:
The movie doesn’t show hardly any of my victories. It focuses on my losses. The personalities and relationships between the characters in the film are primarily fiction and, although Channing is outstanding, the personality is not accurate. However, I think Channing played me the only way it was possible to play me due to the confines of the director’s vision.
After his lengthy post had made the rounds, Schultz defended the post, saying he apologized for the profanity, but that he “in no way regret(s) standing up for myself, nor do I regret calling out the only other man who has had decision-making power concerning my image and legacy these past years.”
Du pont is played by Steve Carrell and Dave Schultz by Mark Ruffalo. His brother and fellow wrestler, Dave Schultz is portrayed by Channing Tatum.
Foxcatcher is in theaters now.