Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 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 All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

New Pics From 'The Butler' As Warner Bros. & The Weinstein Company Fight Over Title Rights

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist July 2, 2013 at 9:24AM

For all the cash and capital that flows through Hollywood, it’s still very much an industry prone to pettiness. With all those egos, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when one studio decides to screw over another. And yet, the news of Warner Bros. beef with The Weinstein Company over the title of the latter’s upcoming period-drama “The Butler” still feels random.
1
The Butler Forest Whitaker Oprah Winfrey

For all the cash and capital that flows through Hollywood, it’s still very much an industry prone to pettiness. With all those egos, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when one studio decides to screw over another. And yet, the news of Warner Bros. beef with The Weinstein Company over the title of the latter’s upcoming period-drama “The Butler” still feels random.

So the main issue Warner Bros. has with the Lee Daniels-helmed and Forest Whitaker-starring film is that the studio maintains that they still have the rights over the name thanks to a 1916 silent short titled "The Butler," that's now sitting in the WB library where no one probably knew it existed until now.

Now, why would such a big studio decide to comb through their entire library just to screw with the Weinsteins? One theory is that it’s a retaliation of sorts to TWC’s challenge to WB not too long ago over name of "The Good Lie," which they felt was too similar to "The Good Life." The thing is TWC eventually said "that's cool bro" and eventually let it go. So what gives? Did Harvey Weinstein cut in line in front of somebody at Oscars afterparty? Or is Warner Bros. just really into keeping their titles all for themselves?

With “The Butler” (or whatever it ends up getting named) scheduled for release in just over a month, the Weinsteins don’t have a lot of time to sort this problem out. They’ve invoked the ghost of the late great producer Laura Ziskin -- “The Butler” would be her last credit -- and even had Daniels plead with Warner Bros. The only one who hasn’t weighed in yet is the film’s other prestigious producer, Oprah Winfrey. We’re not sure why the Weinsteins haven’t pulled out that big gun yet, but maybe they’re waiting for the right time. According to Deadline, the issue is headed for arbitration shortly, so we'll soon find out who has the rights to a pretty bland title. We’ll keep you posted on how all this shakes out. “The Butler” hits theaters on August 16th and in the meantime, after these new pics from the film, leave your preferred alternate titles below.

The Butler Lenny Kravitz
The Butler Forest Whitaker
The Butler David Oyelowo
The Butler Forest Whitaker Cuba Gooding Jr.
The Butler
The Butler
The Butler
The Butler (skip crop)

This article is related to: Lee Daniels' The Butler , Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo


The Playlist

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


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates