Director Lee Daniels Pleads Warner Bros. to Keep 'The Butler' Title
Director Lee Daniels is also fighting for the title of his film "The Butler", but takes a different path from the Weinstein Co. While TWC has hired David Boies to make threatening litigation against Warner Bros, which was awarded the rights to the title, the 53-year-old filmmaker chose to make a heartfelt plea to Warner's CEO Kevin Tsujihara in the form of a letter.
"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," Daniels wrote as quoted by The Guardian. "I made this film so I could show my kids, my family, and my country some of the injustices and victories African-Americans and their families have experienced in the fight for Civil Rights."
"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."
Daniels, who served behind the lens for Zac Efron's "The Paperboy", added that the movie had never been intended to be "a blockbuster." Offering Tsujihara a private screening of the movie, he said, "I truly believe that once you watch it, you would not want to cause this film any harm."
The MPAA's Title Registry Bureau ruled on Tuesday that TWC could not use the title, which is also the name of a 1916 silent comedy short that is now in the Warner library.
Cast members Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey are among names that support Daniels' effort.
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