(CN) – The Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday dropped “London Fields” from this year’s event, two days after its director Matthew Cullen sued the producers, claiming they debased his work and misappropriated his name.
Johnny Depp stars in the film, based on the 1989 Martin Amis novel. Its world premier was expected to be Friday in Toronto. The festival cited the lawsuit the director filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Mathew Cullen sued producer Chris Hanley and his company Muse Productions, producer Jordon Derek Gertner and his company Hero Entertainment, and Nicola Six Entertainment, which is run by the other defendants.
Cullen’s 15-page lawsuit objects to “revisionary elements” he says the defendants “injected into the script.”
“Among other things, these elements include incendiary imagery evoking 9/11 jumpers edited against pornography, as well as juxtaposing the holiest city in Islam against mind control,” Cullen says in the complaint. Associating his name with this, Cullen says, amounts to identity theft “and the false, distorted and perverted associations that defendants are imposing.”
In case you haven’t got it yet, Cullen adds: “To accomplish this feat, defendants have perpetrated one fraud after another, from the hiring of plaintiffs based upon false promises, to the ongoing marketing and rendition of the film as something which it is not – a film directed by Mathew Cullen.”
He seeks punitive damages for fraud, misappropriation of his name and likeness and unfair competition, and costs of suit. His company, Motion Theory, is a co-plaintiff.
They are represented by Alex Weingarten with Venable LLP.
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