Gauls stall ‘Lolita’ date

PARIS — French communications company Pathe stumped up the reported $62 million budget for Adrian Lyne’s long-finished “Lolita.” But it seems that even with that kind of money invested, the Gauls are nervous about releasing the film on its own turf.

Pathe’s French distribution subsid AMLF now says it will open the pic in January, postponing the original fall launch in France. Officially, the change of date is put down to the packed release schedule that hits France after the August holidays. But sources said that with the pedophile issue practically a daily story in the press, putting out a pic that deals with a middle-aged man’s passion for a 12-year-old girl is a matter of some delicacy.

Pathe’s other distribution subsids — Pathe Distribution in the U.K. and Tobis in Germany — are also set to handle Lyne’s film, but the U.K. team has not fixed a date yet.

One reason for the delay is that Paul Rassam, the man in charge of selling the pic for Pathe, has yet to come up with a U.S. deal. Trimark Pictures was most recently taking a look, but the company says it has not made any deal.

Ideally, international distribs would favor rolling out the film in the wake of a U.S. release. But at Cannes this year, Rassam intimated that Lyne’s adaptation of the Vladamir Nabokov novel might hit European shores first if the Stateside shutout persisted.

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