Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Emma Thompson's 'Effie' With Orlando Bloom & Saoirse Ronan Stuck In Legal Row

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 8, 2011 at 7:33AM

Last fall, a rather interesting project was coming together based around a script from actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson. Titled "Effie," the film lined up a solid cast with Saorise Ronan, Orlando Bloom, Imelda Staunton, Greg Wise and Thompson herself in the strange-but-true story that centers on the wedding night between Victorian artist, architect, poet and political thinker John Ruskin and his wife, Effie Gray. Ruskin was long infatuated with Gray and married her when she was 17. However, when it came time to consummate their marriage, something so reviled Ruskin that Gray remained a virgin until after they divorced and she remarried his protege, painter, John Everett Millais. While it has never been established just what disgusted Ruskin to the point he refused to have sex with his wife, theories over the years have speculated it might have been pubic hair or menstrual blood.
3


Last fall, a rather interesting project was coming together based around a script from actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson. Titled "Effie," the film lined up a solid cast with Saorise Ronan, Orlando Bloom, Imelda Staunton, Greg Wise and Thompson herself in the strange-but-true story that centers on the wedding night between Victorian artist, architect, poet and political thinker John Ruskin and his wife, Effie Gray. Ruskin was long infatuated with Gray and married her when she was 17. However, when it came time to consummate their marriage, something so reviled Ruskin that Gray remained a virgin until after they divorced and she remarried his protege, painter, John Everett Millais. While it has never been established just what disgusted Ruskin to the point he refused to have sex with his wife, theories over the years have speculated it might have been pubic hair or menstrual blood.

Ronan and Wise were set to play Effie and Ruskin respectively but production is now being held up as playwright Gregory Murphy has taken the film's producers to court citing copywright infringement.

You see, back in 1999 Murphy's play "The Countess," also about the Effie/Ruskin/Millais affair, hit stages to strong reviews and was even revived in 2005. Murphy feels that Thompson's script is too close for comfort to this work and thus, the ensuing legal battle. Thompson's camp maintains she never had access to Murphy's play and didn't copy it.

Regardless, this throws a major wrench into getting the film underway. "In order to close financing to produce a motion picture based on Effie, [the plaintiff] must be able to demonstrate that there is no validity to Mr. Murphy's claim of infringement," says the complaint in the lawsuit. No word yet on how long this might take to resolve (attention lawyers, throwing Murphy a story credit might be the quickest way to get him off your back) but Ronan and Bloom can chat about it on the set of "The Hobbit."

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, Effie, Orlando Bloom, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Thompson


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates