If you've been following the story behind the Dublin-filmed period drama starring Sean Penn and Mel Gibson, 'The Professor & The Madman', you'll know just how tangled it all is.
Essentially, the gist of the story is that Gibson's production company, Icon, and the movie's director Farhad Safinia got into a long legal battle with Voltage Pictures over numerous elements of the movie.
One point in particular involved filming a scene in Trinity College, Dublin while Gibson and Safinia both believed it should have been filmed in Oxford University, England. Voltage claimed in their suit that both Gibson and Safinia walked off the set, and denied their request as the movie was already over-budget and falling behind schedule.
However, in a statement released to Deadline and other media outlets yesterday, Gibson fired back - just as the lawsuit between the parties was settled in Los Angeles court. While he said he was unable to discuss the settlement of the lawsuit, Gibson stressed that "neither Farhad Safinia nor I ever walked off of the set, or cause the film to ever go over budget."
"This was a labor of love for the entire creative team, and it is unfortunate for all concerned that this film was never finished as written," the statement continued. Gibson added that he had spent two years trying to film essential scenes in Oxford, as the movie itself is about Oxford English dictionary.
However, Gibson stated, he "did not get the opportunity to choose a final cut, and cannot support the film." He went on, adding that 'The Professor & The Madman' will never be seen "as it was meant to be," and called the current version due to be screened in cinemas as "a bitter disappointment to me."
Currently, the movie is credited to PB Shemran as director and writer. As best as we can determine, PB Shemran is a pseudonym - as the person has no professional credits anywhere on IMDb, and no other reference exists to him / her apart from 'The Professor & The Madman'.
The movie is set to be released in the US on May 10th in limited cinemas and online. No Irish release date has been announced as of yet.