'Fifty Dead Men' still a go for Toronto

Biopic's main subject has threatened legal action

TORONTO -- Despite a legal threat from the spy drama's main subject, the world premiere of Kari Skogland's "Fifty Dead Men Walking" at the Toronto International Film Festival will go ahead as planned, the film's British co-producers said Tuesday.

"In response to reports in The Hollywood Reporter, the film's partners have confirmed that any queries relating to the legitimacy of the film are unfounded and that due process has been followed throughout the production," London-based Future Films and HandMade Films International said in a joint statement.

The festival all-clear follows the biopic's main subject, former IRA infiltrator Martin McGartland, threatening legal action last week in a bid to stop the Toronto festival bow on the grounds that his rights are being infringed.

Skogland adapted McGartland's 1998 book of the same name, which portrays an IRA mole named Marty who provides information to Britain's Special Branch before his cover is blown.

The films' producers said that, while they optioned McGartland's autobiography and "Dead Men" is based on his life story, it "is not a representation of Mr. McGartland's life."

Skogland and her cast, which includes Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess and Kevin Zegers, will be on hand for the Sept. 10 Toronto festival bow at Roy Thomson Hall.

McGartland, who remains in hiding because of fears of IRA retribution, was unavailable for comment at press time.
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