New ‘Frankenstein’ wins photo injunction

The producers of the film “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” have won a landmark legal ruling blocking the publication of unauthorized photographs taken on the set.

The film, currently shooting at Shepperton Studios outside London, is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars alongside Robert De Niro.

It is an American Zoetrope production for TriStar Pictures.

The case revolves around photos of De Niro playing Frankenstein’s monster, taken without the permission of the producers by a freelance photographer working for photo agency Rex Features.

The judge granted Shelley Films Ltd. an interim injunction preventing Rex from exploiting the pictures. He backed the producers’ claim that the publication of unauthorized photos would seriously threaten the film’s commercial interests.

Lawyers for Shelley Films argued successfully that the filmmakers owned the copyright over their new depiction of Frankenstein’s creature, notably with regard to the prosthetic makeup, the costumes and the sets.

The case will now go to a full trial, but it could take two years for this to happen, by which time the film will have been released.

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