Lantos vows to protect ‘Truth’ scenes

Producer doesn't want Egoyan's film to be censored

Robert Lantos, the Canadian producer of competish entry “Where the Truth Lies,” said he would not allow Atom Egoyan’s sexually explicit pic to be cut by the MPA ratings scissors — as the sex scenes are integral to the story.

Egoyan’s time-jumping tale of a famous Hollywood break-up has already been sold widely except for the U.K. and the U.S. where, Lantos said, he is beginning negotiations “now,” and might conclude within days. The pic had a budget of $24 million.

“I believe it’s a film that’s accessible to a fairly wide adult audience,” Lantos told Variety at a press lunch Friday, the day the pic screened in Cannes. He said he’d want it to be released in Canada and the U.S. in October or November.

Lantos, who has a history of making provocative, upscale movies and has worked with Egoyan on several movies, said that at this stage in his career he wanted his films to score with the widest audience possible.

“If we’re going to that much effort (to make the film), I want it to be seen,” he said.

Pic starts Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth and is based on Rupert Holmes’ eponymous best-seller.

“Where the Truth Lies” was test-marketed in the U.S., in places far from Manhattan and Los Angeles, and the reactions, Lantos admitted, were skewed.

“A number of folks over 40 walked out. It was clearly an age thing. The younger people, who may never have even heard of Egoyan and don’t go to movies because of directors, clearly liked it,” Lantos said.

Fine Line distributed Egoyan’s best-known film “The Sweet Hereafter,” but that, because of its downbeat subject matter, was a particularly difficult proposition.

“Where the Truth Lies” does have a fall-back in the U.S., in that Lantos is half-owner of ThinkFilm, and could presumably go that route if no other offer satisfies.

Lantos said he wouldn’t “rule that out,” but that Think really isn’t set up as yet to handle the wider release he envisions for “Truth.”