A minor hiccup was avoided on the eve of the release of the independent film Lovelace. Starring Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables) and centering on the life of one-time adult film actress and Deep Throat (1972) star Linda Lovelace, Lovelace has been cleared for it’s expected limited release on August 9th despite a $10 million lawsuit and attempted injunction to halt the release of the film that was filed by Arrow Productions. Arrow, which owns the rights to the 1970s adult film classic as well as the stage name “Lovelace” complained that the filmmakers used more than five minutes of the original Deep Throat film without proper licensing or permission from Arrow Productions. The suit alleges that The Weinstein Company (who purchased the film when it made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this past winter under their Radius film division) “have simply taken what they wanted and crossed their fingers.” The suit also alleges that the title “Lovelace” was used without permission as well (all of which sounds a little too familiar for The Weinstein Company). A federal judge today has refused to block the film from release.
“We are relieved that common sense prevailed,” said Mark Gill, president of Millennium Films. “The suit was completely unwarranted. We believe this case was an insult to the legal safeguards in place maintaining our right to freedom of speech. It was without merit on every level.” Lovelace was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, two time Academy Award winners for the documentaries The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1984) and Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt (1999), whose most recent feature was the Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl (2010) starring James Franco. The film chronicles the rise and fall of Linda Lovelace, through the making of the historic and controversial film Deep Throat, through her abusive marriage to Chuck Traynor (played by Peter Sarsgaard) and her later crusade against adult films. The large ensemble cast includes James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Adam Brody as Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems, and Sharon Stone as Lovelace’s mother. It opens in limited release this Friday.