×

Mel Gibson Settles ‘Professor and the Madman’ Suit Ahead of Release

Mel Gibson has settled a legal battle with Voltage Pictures over “The Professor and the Madman,” a film that tells the gothic backstory of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Gibson sued the production company in 2017, alleging that it had reneged on a deal to give him approval of the final cut. Gibson stars as Professor James Murray, the lexicographer who edited the original OED. Sean Penn plays the role of William Minor, who contributed to the dictionary from the confines of a lunatic asylum.

The film is set for a limited release on May 10.

Gibson and director Farhad Safinia walked off the set in January 2017, after Voltage CEO Nicolas Chartier balked at shooting scenes at the University of Oxford. Chartier alleged that the film was already behind schedule and over budget, and wanted to shoot the scenes instead at Trinity College in Dublin.

At one point, Gibson’s side accused Chartier of seeking to inflate production expenses in an effort to defraud the Irish film tax incentive program. Voltage denied the allegation.

Gibson lost a critical round of the litigation in June, as a judge denied his bid to reclaim rights to the film.

Popular on Variety

A trial had been set for May 6, but Gibson’s attorney notified the court on Tuesday that the case had been settled. Terms were not disclosed.

Safinia filed a separate suit in federal court, alleging that he owned the screenplay and that Voltage was infringing on his copyright. Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled against Safinia on March 20, and Safinia was in the process of seeking a reconsideration of that ruling. However, on Wednesday the parties notified the court that the case has also been settled.

More Film

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Golden Globes 2016

    Film News Roundup: Oscar Isaac Joins Superhero Movie 'The Great Machine'

    In today’s film news roundup, Oscar Isaac boards “The Great Machine,” Keira Knightley joins “Silent Night” and “The Dog Doc” finds a home. CASTINGS Legendary has closed a deal for Oscar Isaac to star in and produce superhero saga “The Great Machine.” The project is based on Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series “Ex Machina” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    U.S. Movie Admissions Plunge 4.6% in 2019 Amid Box Office Decline

    U.S. movie admissions slid 4.6% last year to 1.24 billion, the second lowest admissions number during the current century, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has reported. North American box office for the year declined 4.1% to $11.4 billion, NATO said Friday. That figure was in line with the estimate released at the end [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'National Treasure 3' Moves Ahead From Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer

    Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are moving ahead with a third “National Treasure” movie with “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner tapped to write the script. Bremner has also signed to write a fourth “Bad Boys” for Sony with Bruckheimer producing. Bruckheimer produced the three “Bad Boys” and the two “National Treasure” movies. The “National [...]

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    'Bad Boys 4' in the Works at Sony Pictures

    Sony Pictures has launched early development of an untitled fourth “Bad Boys” movie with “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner returning to write the script. Bremner has also signed to write “National Treasure 3” for Disney with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. Bruckheimer produced the three “Bad Boys” and the two “National Treasure” movies. Bremner teamed [...]

  • Corsican Summer, Los Conductos

    Belgium's Best Friend Forever Nabs Berlinale-Bound 'Los Conductos,' 'Corsican Summer' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brussels-based company Best Friend Forever acquired two debut features, Camilo Restrepo’s Berlinale-bound “Los Conductos” and Pascal Tagnati’s “Corsican Summer.” Both films are produced by up and coming outfit 5à7 films. Set to premiere at the Berlinale’s new competitive section Encounters, “Los Conductos” is a Spanish-language film set in Medellin (Colombia) and loosely based on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content