“London Fields” has been removed from the lineup at the Toronto International Film Festival due to a lawsuit director Matthew Cullen filed against the producers earlier this week.
“We have recently learned of a legal matter that has arisen between the director and the producers of the film ‘London Fields,'” a festival spokesperson said in a statement to the media. “We have worked to make our festival a public showcase for creative expression through the moving image, however with uncertainty surrounding the creative vision of the version of the film scheduled to be screened on September 18th, we feel it is only appropriate that we remove this film from the Festival lineup.”
Cullen’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claimed that producers Chris Hanley and Jorden Gertner made “fraudulent efforts” to revise the movie without his knowledge.
The complaint, which also names Muse Productions and Nicola Six Ltd. as defendants, states the producers interjected elements that “include incendiary imagery evoking 9/11 jumpers edited against pornography, as well as juxtaposing the holiest city in Islam against mind control.”
“No crew or cast member signed up for this, nor did plaintiffs,” the lawsuit contends, and demands damages as a result, while also seeking a declaration that the producers have no right to use Cullen’s name to promote the movie without his consent.
Despite the drama unfolding off screen, TIFF organizers have wished the dysfunctional team behind the movie well. “We are hopeful that this matter will be resolved positively, and that audiences will have the opportunity to see the film,” the festival’s statement concluded.
“London Fields,” based on Martin Amis’ 1989 novel of the same name, was acquired by Lionsgate and Grindstone in a low-seven-figure deal.
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. Heard’s husband, Johnny Depp, also makes an appearance.