‘London Fields’ Producers Claim Toronto Festival Dropped Film Due to ‘Too Provocative’ Imagery

Chris Hanley and Jordan Gertner also call director Matthew Cullen’s lawsuit a “publicity stunt”

The producers of “London Fields” have issued a statement objecting to the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to pull the film from its lineup. TIFF organizers made the call after director Matthew Cullen filed a lawsuit against producers Chris Hanley and Jordan Gertner, claiming that the version of the film screening at the festival was not the version he approved.

“We are greatly disappointed that TIFF decided to pull the film from the festival. We have always loved launching our films here, but feel that in particular case there has been an ill-considered decision made against our rights,” the film’s producers said in a joint statement that wasn’t attributed to any individual.

Those producers are believed to be Hanley and Gertner, who were named in a lawsuit by director Matthew Cullen and whose publicist sent the statement. Geyer Kosinski is also a producer on the film but he was not named in the lawsuit and is not believed to be responsible for the statement sent to media.

The statement continued:

“It’s the first time we have ever heard of a festival removing a movie from the festival due to it’s imagery being deemed too provocative. The timing and the content of the director’s lawsuit shows that it is a publicity stunt. The filing of Mathew Cullen’s complaint violates the arbitration provisions of his own guild, the DGA. Sadly, Mathew can’t deal with the fact that he does not control the final cut of the movie.  He was given two deadlines to deliver a “director’s cut” and missed both deadlines. His guild has rules for withdrawing his name from the picture and he missed those deadlines. The production company will vigorously oppose the lawsuit.”

Amber Heard and Theo James star in “London Fields” alongside Jim Sturgess, Cara Delevingne and Billy Bob Thornton, while Heard’s real-life beau Johnny Depp also makes an appearance.

Set in London in 1999, the film stars Heard as a clairvoyant femme fatale named Nicola Six who is haunted by a dark premonition of her own murder. She enters a tangled love affair with three very different men, one of whom she knows will kill her.

“London Fields” was acquired Wednesday by Lionsgate and Grindstone in a deal that calls for Lionsgate Premiere to release the film in theaters.