'Strangers' looking for friends at Warner

Warner Independent Pictures won’t release “Strangers With Candy” out of concern that the producers didn’t secure all the needed rights, including for such items as posters and props.

Move comes as Warner Bros. Pictures regroups after being slapped with a $17.5 million rights judgment in connection with this summer’s “Dukes of Hazzard.” Industry insiders say the studio is being extra-vigilant.

“Strangers,” starring Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert and based on the Comedy Central show of the same name, was the first feature produced through David Letterman’s production company Worldwide Pants. Pic was directed by Paul Dinello, with supporting turns by Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Both sides say the producers did secure the necessary clearances from Comedy Central. But WIP continued to insist that there were a number of other outstanding issues.

WIP, which pacted to pay in the $3 million range when acquiring “Strangers” at Sundance earlier this year, was set to release the pic Oct. 21.

Insiders say WIP could void the contract with Worldwide Pants, which would then be free to seek out another distributor. Film is repped by John Sloss’ Cinetic Media.

A Warners rep confirmed that the specialty arm is no longer releasing “Strangers,” but declined to elaborate.

Worldwide Pants declined comment.

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