10:57am PT by Eriq Gardner
License dispute threatens to halt 'Letters to Juliet' release
A New York District Court is nearing a decision on whether Summit Entertainment will be prevented from releasing "Letters to Juliet," which stars Amanda Seyfried as an American girl who decides to answer one of those letters. The film is scheduled to be released on May 14.
It's a complicated chain of custody, but enough to have freaked out Summit, which in January sued ErgoArts seeking a declaration that its film didn't violate any rights. Summit made "Juliet" after licensing a book by the same name.
"Summit believes the counterclaims stated by Ms. Rigas and her affiliated entities are baseless, which is why Summit initiated the action by seeking declaratory relief. Nonetheless, Summit has been in discussion with Ms. Rigas and her representatives for some time in an attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution outside of court. Summit remains confident that should this matter proceed further in the courts Summit will be completely vindicated and is prepared to file a motion for summary judgment to that end. Plans to release the picture remain unchanged."
(Ellen Rigas is the head of ErgoArts. She's the daughter of John Rigas, founder of Adelphia Communications Corp.)