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in Filmmaking
on Feb 5, 2009

On the same day The New York Times published a piece on the difficulties facing the marketing of Lee Daniels‘s Push: Based on The Novel by Sapphire, indieWIRE‘s Eugene Hernandez reports that lawsuits have been filed by Lionsgate, which according to reports has acquired the film, and The Weinstein Company, which says they are the ones who closed a deal for the film (TWC is also suing the film’s sales rep Cinetic Media).

An excerpt from the iW story:

Bert Fields’ TWC statement noted that Lionsgate filed a pre-emptive suit against TWC yesterday. “This is obvious forum-shopping by a party that knew TWC was going to sue,” the Fields statement continued, “We will deal with it appropriately.”

“With this filing, we are simply protecting our rights and seeking a judicial declaration that The Weinstein Company does not have any right, title or interest in ‘Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire’,” the Lionsgate spokesperson said.

An insider close to the deal today noted that TWC was understood to be pursuing a worldwide deal for the movie but Cinetic brokered a pact for North American rights. International rights to the movie are going on the market here at the European Film Market in Berlin via Elephant Eye Films.

Buzz about the suit is enhanced by the recent executive shuffle between the two companies. In a move announced last week, longtime Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg recently left the company to join The Weinstein Company as its President of Theatrical Films.

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