Buscemi settles 'Rockets Redglare!' suit

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Steve Buscemi and the estate for the late film director Luis de la Reguera have settled a lawsuit over a film they co-produced against the film's distributor, a lawyer for Buscemi and de la Reguera's estate said Sunday.

Michael Broder of Fort Lauderdale distributor Small Planet Pictures must turn over the rights to the film "Rockets Redglare!" to the plaintiffs and pay $35,000 of their legal fees, said Hunter Chamberlain, a lawyer for the producers.

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003, is a documentary on the life of actor Michael Morra, Chamberlain said.

If Broder fails to pay the fees within five years, he will have to pay $1.75 million. The settlement was finalized Sept. 5, according to court documents.

Buscemi, known for films such as "Fargo" and "Con Air," co-produced the movie with the de la Reguera. They sued Broder for failing to promote the film about Morra, who died in 2001 from complications brought on by drug abuse. The rights to the film will be turned over to de la Reguera's estate.

A spokeswoman for Buscemi, Staci Wolfe, said in a statement that Buscemi and de la Reguera proposed the settlement immediately after a judge recommended awarding them the $1.75 million.

"This was never about money, as reflected by the alternative settlement proposed by the filmmakers immediately after receiving a very large judgment. They just want the opportunity to distribute the film properly," Wolfe said.

De la Reguera died after a motorcycle crash in August 2006.
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