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Rome wasn’t bilked in a day

Cinecitta Studios claims it invested $1.2 mil in 'Alexander'

“Alexander” tried to rip off the Romans.

That’s the claim being made by Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, which has filed lawsuit against Warner Bros. Italia, demanding the Oliver Stone epic be pulled off Italian screens.

Cinecitta claims it invested $1.2 million in “Alexander” back in 1990, when Stone’s project was in its infancy, under an agreement that saw Stone shooting the pic at Cinecitta.

According to Cinecitta — which at the time was entirely state-funded — the coin was paid to Stone and to German producer Thomas Schuhly, one of the pic’s producers.

“We have nothing against Warner Bros., but Italian taxpayers were ripped off,” says entertainment lawyer Michele Lo Foco, who heads Cinecitta’s rights unit. “The least we can ask for is that they are paid back.”

Lo Foco says that in the years before “Alexander” went into production in Morocco, Cinecitta repeatedly sent letters to Stone and Schuhly requesting restitution of the $1.2 million. But the matter fell by the wayside due to a restructuring of the studios.

There’s been no reaction so far from Warner Bros. to the suit, which was filed in a Rome court Feb. 22.

“Alexander” is nearing the end of its run in Italy, where it has grossed more than $10 million since its Jan. 14 release.

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