The Weinstein Company
"The Butler" is already sitting pretty for awards season, with a cast packed with Serious Actors and The Weinstein Company behind it. But there's a hitch: "The Butler" is also a short film from 1916 that's part of the Warner Bros. library. So now Warner Bros. is demanding TWC change the name of their film, though whether or not it becomes an all-out legal battle remains to be seen.
As Deadline reports, this isn't the first time the two companies have gotten into a title tussle. Weinstein wasn't too pleased with the title of the upcoming Warner Bros. film "The Good Lie," directed by Philippe Falardeau ("Monsieur Lazhar"), as it seemed awfully similar to a movie Weinstein had released called "The Good Life." However, TWC did eventually give Warner Bros. the go-ahead to use "The Good Lie."
So, what's the deal? Is this just insider politics? Also, isn't "The Butler" a fairly generic -- though apt -- name?
Whatever its final title will be -- and it will probably still be "The Butler" -- this film from Lee Daniels ("Precious," "The Paperboy") is one to watch. With Forest Whitaker front and center as the eponymous butler who serves eight presidents during his lifetime, this drama is the textbook definition of a historical epic.
"The Butler" will be served up in theaters August 16.