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Conde Nast Entertainment is going bananas for a “monkey selfie” movie.
The studio behind the firefighting drama Only the Brave has acquired the life rights to David Slater, the man at the center of the so-called monkey selfie legal battle that spawned headlines worldwide.
On April 23, the 9th Circuit ruled that animals can’t sue for copyright infringement. That was the latest decision in the saga that started in 2011, when British wildlife photographer Slater propped up a camera in an Indonesian forest, and a crested macaque named Naruto snapped photos of himself. Slater published the photos, prompting the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to sue, claiming that Slater infringed on Naruto’s copyright as the author of the photos.
It’s an unusual move for Conde Nast, which typically develops its films from source material published in its 19 magazine brands that include Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. But in this rapidly evolving case, with existential implications, the studio skipped that step and bought life rights first so that it could move quickly on a movie.
Conde Nast’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler are overseeing for the studio and are currently out to writers.
Launched in 2011, Conde Nast has nearly 40 films in development with such high-profile directors and producers as Alexander Payne (The Judge’s Will) and Frank Marshall (The Longest Night). The company’s next film to hit theaters is David Lowery’s Old Man and the Gun, which stars Casey Affleck, Robert Redford and Elisabeth Moss. That films is based on a New Yorker article from 2003.
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