Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Mining For Gold: Sony Classics Sued For Paraphrased Faulkner Quote In 'Midnight in Paris' By Humorless Estate

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist October 26, 2012 at 9:42AM

If this year's long-standing theatre run of “Moonrise Kingdom” represented a financial change in winds to Wes Anderson's other work, then the box-office windfall behind “Midnight in Paris” last year proved a hurricane to Woody Allen's mainstream success. Clocking in as the director's highest-grossing film ever with $148 million made worldwide, it was a landmark for a career already rife with many, but naturally there are entities looking to carve out a piece for themselves, as the estate of one of American literature's giants now is taking legal action against Allen for an ill-paraphrased quote.
1
Midnight In Paris Owen Wilson

If this year's long-standing theatre run of “Moonrise Kingdom” represented a financial change in winds to Wes Anderson's other work, then the box-office windfall behind “Midnight in Paris” last year proved a hurricane to Woody Allen's mainstream success. Clocking in as the director's highest-grossing film ever with $148 million made worldwide, it was a landmark for a career already rife with many, but naturally there are entities looking to carve out a piece for themselves, as the estate of one of American literature's giants now is taking legal action against Allen for an ill-paraphrased quote.

Allen's films are of course filled to the brim with playful literary allusions, sometimes to the detriment of the narrative itself, but up until now nothing has been made of the filmmaker's permission in doing so. However, the humorless rightsholders behind William Faulkner's work have come forth with a claim saying Sony Pictures Classics had no right utilizing a quote from the writer's “Requiem for a Nun” in the 2011 film. Also -- in true gold-digger fashion -- Faulkner Literary Rights have requested a jury trial, which in the end would lead to compensatory and punitive damages, legal fees and some of the movie's profits to boot.

Looking to the film's scene in question, it occurs when Gil Pender, the time-travelling screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, explains his exploits by saying, “The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party.” Because of this irreparable damage to the author's career, the rightsowners claim the quote could “deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”

A screenwriter working alongside the likes of Howard Hawks himself, it's nevertheless irrelevant to think what Faulkner would think of the lawsuit against Allen, one in which the writer/director isn't even listed as a defendant. Instead, what remains are the frivolous and petty efforts of a great writer's estate to capitalize on a film's success, and so hopefully the next action regarding the matter will be its swift removal from a courtroom docket, and not an ensuing pile-on of Legal Avengers from the estates of Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, and Ernest Hemingway. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Midnight In Paris, Sony Pictures Classics


The Playlist

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


E-Mail Updates