How’s this for a legal thriller? A movie set amid the tensions of the Cold War suddenly threatens to touch off a hot litigation battle. That’s precisely what happened earlier this summer over the just-released Company Man, a comedy about a high-school teacher who gets involved in a plot to overthrow Fidel Castro. Douglas McGrath and Peter Askin, who co-wrote and co-directed the picture were piqued when Intermedia Films viewed their rough cut and demanded to edit the film itself.
Armed with their own final-cut approval, McGrath and Askin marched into federal court in New York with a $1.5 million lawsuit aimed at Intermedia and Wind Dancer Productions. After a few weeks of legal volleying, everyone suddenly kissed and made up — in typical Hollywood style. In other words, it’s not clear at all who raised the white flag. The only thing that is clear is that the film is now in theaters — and someone edited the final version.
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