The long-running legal battle between Mel Gibson and Voltage Pictures over 'The Professor and the Madman', a film shot around Dublin two years ago, has reached an impasse.
Per reporting by THR, Gibson lost both a motion for summary adjudication as well as his bid to terminate a rights agreement with Voltage Pictures. There's been lawsuits back and forth between Gibson and Icon Productions, Voltage Pictures, and the director Farad Safinia over the troubled movie, but it's understood the fight began over a scene that was due to be shot in Dublin.
According to the court documents, the problems began at the tail end of the shoot in Dublin where Gibson, Safinia and Gibson's producing partner Bruce Davey demanded that Voltage Pictures cancel a scene that was due to be shot in Trinity College and involved over 200 extras and expensive set dressing all so that the same scene could be shot in Oxford. At the time, the film was already $1.3 million over budget and Voltage estimated that the scene being shot in Oxford would have cost $2.5 million.
After that, things appeared to get worse as Safinia submitted a two-hour-forty-minute cut and a two-hour cut - which Safinia claimed wasn't a "strong cut." There were ongoing discussions about the Trinity College / Oxford scenes and some others, however Voltage Pictures hired two other directors to begin work on the edit whilst Safinia stated that he wouldn't continue to work on the film until his original editor was brought back and the plan to shoot in Oxford was set in motion.
The film has been a passion project for Gibson for many years, and previous attempts have been made to mount an adaptation of it, including one by John Boorman. Whether or not the film will see the light of day remains to be seen, and the same goes for the legal challenges to the movie as well.
Given how acrimonious it's been so far, it seems pretty unlikely. Gibson has released no statement as of yet on the ruling.