Voltage Bests Director In Battle Over Mel Gibson’s ‘The Professor & The Madman’

The multi-front legal battle between Voltage Pictures and seemingly everyone else over the Mel Gibson and Sean Penn starrer The Professor and The Madman saw a federal judge stop the efforts of the film’s director to stop the pic from going forward.
“Plaintiff has not provided sufficient evidence that he will suffer harm to his reputation simply because he is identified as the screenwriter and director of the film in various promotional materials,” Marshall concludes of Boss creator Safinia’s objections to the creative and sales attempts by Voltage. “Nor does Plaintiff provide any evidence that the value of his screenplay will diminish if Defendants are not enjoined immediately.”
“Plaintiff fails to satisfy the necessary four-prong test for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction,” wrote U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall on Friday in an order rejecting Farhad Safinia desire (read it here) to halt and snatch the latest cut of the film about the origins of the Oxford Dictionary from being shown to potential buyers due to copyright infringement and defamation.
In that action, the Oscar winner and crew sought a jury trial for a breach of contract complaint against the Nicolas Chartier run financing, production and distribution company over changes and final cut of their self described “labor of love.” Superior Court early this summer. First filed on September 19 by Salinia, this scrap with Voltage comes after Gibson and his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey put paperwork forth themselves in L.A.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan attorneys Jeffery McFarland, Shahin Rezvani and Aaron Perahia are representing Apocalypto co-screenwriter Safinia in the matter.” />
“Plaintiff fails to demonstrate that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction,” the judge added in her order, noting documents submitted on September 21 by Voltage against long time Gibson collaborator Safinia showing the director signed over his rights to the Madman script on August 21, 2016 in a work for hire agreement. “Plaintiff fails to demonstrate ownership of a valid copyright,” the Jimmy Carter appointed Marshall summarized on September 22 (read it here).
A point of view that Voltage additionally asserted in what was their successful upbraiding to Safinia’s TRO case
The feature adaptation of Simon Winchester’s 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words sees the ex-Mad Max as Professor James Murray, who began work on the dictionary in 1857. Former Game of Thrones actor Natalie Dormer and upcoming Liar star Ioan Gruffudd also are in Madman. William Chester Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries to the effort while he was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Fellow Oscar winner Penn plays Dr.
That demurrer doubted that Icon was harmed at all by Voltage’s actions on the film and are simply engaged in an "amorphous request for contract damages.” Having attracted his fair share of the spotlight over the years, Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club producer Chartier had his Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump and Aldisert LLP lawyer Jeremiah Tracy Reynolds hit back with a motion to toss that case out.
Of course, with parts of Madman supposedly screening to distributors at Cannes in May, Salinia’s case is part of a larger brawl.
According to Judge Marshall’s order and a declaration submitted by Chartier, The Professor and The Madman is still being edited and the producers “do not anticipate distribution before the end of 2017.”
Icon insist that Voltage “disregarded their contractual obligations” with alterations to the Madman script, potential director changes, and location approvals among others.
Voltage also noted that Salinia neglected to mention in his filing “highly respected screenwriters Todd Kormanicki and John Boorman are listed as his co-writers on the final shooting script for the motion picture because they wrote prior versions of the script.” “The true motive behind Plaintiff's bogus copyright infringement lawsuit is a continuing effort by Plaintiff, along with his collaborators, Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey, to improperly coerce the financiers of the Picture to shoot additional scenes in Oxford, England, at a cost of approximately $2.5 million, despite the fact that the motion picture has already gone over budget and into overtime,” the company stated on September 21.