Mark Schultz blasts his portrayal in Foxcatcher as grossly inaccurate

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

If you have seen FOXCATCHER, chances are you were intrigued to look up some of the background on Mark Schultz, John DuPont, and the true crime story that influenced the acclaimed film. You may even have seen Mark Schultz acting chummy with with director Bennett Miller and stars Steve Carrel and Channing Tatum. Tatum, who plays Schultz in the film, and his real life counterpart seem to have gotten along well. That is until Schultz’s change of heart in social media.

As we approach the Golden Globes and the Oscars, FOXCATCHER is bound to continue to be a top contender for Best Picture. Schultz, though, seems to have had a complete change of heart about the film and has taken to slamming Bennett Miller. Variety has summed up several of the tweets, which are directed at Miller for the way FOXCATCHER showcases the events that lead to the murder of his brother Dave Schultz. Here is a selection of the tweets.

Schultz also shared this on Facebook.

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.

Bennett Miller‘s three films to date have focused on true stories. CAPOTE and MONEYBALL were both dramatically changed from the true story to make for a more entertaining film experience, but Schultz is questioning everything about the film. His tweets go into great detail as to the dramatic licenses taken by Miller along with screenwriter Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye. Schultz himself has also written a book that he purports to be the true account of the events depicted in FOXCATCHER. Whether he is making these accusations for publicity reasons or not, many have also cited FOXCATCHER as being different from the actual events.

In the end, if a film claims to be based on a true story, does it have an obligation to tell the truth from every perspective? It may be difficult because the source material may differ based on whose story is being told. In the end, this will likely not affect FOXCATCHER’s awards tally, but it will certainly make for an interesting topic of conversation.

Source: Variety

About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.