"The Butler" director appeals to keep name
'The Butler' director Lee Daniels has appealed to the head of Warner Bros. to drop its copyright claim regarding the film's name.
The Weinstein Company lost its legal battle to keep the title of its new historical drama on Tuesday (02.07.13) , following a Title Registration Bureau ruling confirming Warner Bros. owns the rights to it because of their 1916 silent short of the same name.
Now the movie's director has appealed directly to the rival studio's CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, in the hope he will revoke the decision by appealing to his good conscience and asking him to watch the film, which is based on the real-life story of the White House's longest serving African American butler, Eugene Allen.
The email, obtained by Deadline.com, reads: ''I have spent the last four years of my life working on the film, The Butler, and it is the proudest moment of my professional career. I am heartbroken as I write this letter to you.
''I am so proud of this movie. Every member of our cast worked for almost nothing so that this story could be told with only our very small budget. If we were to change the title a mere six weeks before we open, it would most certainly hurt the film by limiting the number of people who would ultimately see this important story.
''I beg you to see it before you decide to force us to change the title. I truly believe that once you watch it, you would not want to cause this film any harm.''
The Oscar-tipped movie boasts an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, as well as the likes of Robin Williams, James Marsden and Alan Rickman portraying former US presidents.