‘Lovely’ fray hatches Hachette-Miramax suit

French media company Hachette has filed an $8 million breach of contract and copyright infringement lawsuit against Miramax Films, claiming the U.S. company failed to pay an advance for the rights to distribute the award-winning “She’s So Lovely.”

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in L.A., Hachette Premiere & Cie also is seeking to have Miramax prevented from distributing the film in the States.

“She’s So Lovely” stars Sean Penn, Robin Wright and John Travolta. The lawsuit was filed just days before the film’s originally scheduled Aug. 15 release date. The film will bow Aug. 29.

Hachette asserts it came to an agreement with Miramax in which the U.S. company, a subsidiary of Walt Disney, would pay $12 million for the American and European distribution rights to the film, which originally was titled, “She’s De Lovely,” according to the lawsuit.

But Hachette alleges that Miramax has “failed and refused to pay” an initial advance of $8 million.

It also believes that Miramax intends to release the film in the U.S. and Europe before making the advance payment, which Hachette said in the complaint was a violation of the agreement.

The lawsuit also claims copyright infringement and breach of contract against Miramax among its causes of action and asks the court to issue an injunction against Miramax to prevent it from releasing the film.

Cannes pick

“She’s So Lovely” won the Commission Superieure Technique, the top award for technical achievement, at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The pic was directed by Nick Cassavetes, son of the late actor and director John Cassavetes. It was based on a screenplay penned by the elder Cassavetes.

A Miramax spokeswoman was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

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