‘Caligula’ director Tinto Brass says he’s taking legal action against Penthouse Films at ‘Caligula – The Ultimate Cut’ screening in Cannes

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Forty years after his bitter battle with Bob Guccione over the cult classic “Caligula,” Italian director Tinto Brass is still fighting.

Just as Penthouse Films has unveiled a new cut of the cheesy 1980 epic about the fall of the Roman emperor – titled “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut” – which premiered on Wednesday. In the Cannes Classics section – with Helen Mirren in hand – Brass has issued a statement distancing himself from this new version of the film and announced he is taking unspecified legal action.

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“After many more fruitless negotiations, which have gone on over the years, first with Penthouse and then with other obscure individuals, to edit the material that I shot and that was found in the Penthouse archives, a A version has been created in which I will not participate and which I believe will not reflect my artistic vision,” Brass, who is 90, said in the statement.

“As is well known, the editing process is what shapes my personal directorial style. If I cannot edit a film, I do not recognize it, and I have not acknowledged authorship [of the new ‘Caligula' cut], There are several editions of ‘Caligula' edited by others including Bob Guccione. But none of them correspond to my original project. So the Cannes audience will be misled by the arbitrary use of my name.

The statement ends with: “For now I will not add anything further. My lawyers are looking into the matter.”

Who did not immediately receive a comment from Penthouse Films International Diversity contacted via publicist for the new “Caligula” cut.

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The big-budget “Caligula” was self-financed in 1980 by Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, who after fighting with the brass and screenwriter Gore Vidal gained control of the project's advertising and scrapped the script, which contained adult material. which he shot after the actors – who besides Mirren included Malcolm McDowell, John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole – had completed their shoots. The porn association prompted Brass and Vidal to sue to have their names removed from the picture.

One thing is certain about the new controversy, “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut,” which runs 157 and was made using 96 hours of Brass' original footage, is very different from Guccione's cut. Thomas Negovan, the producer of the revived film, “approached this new version from a neutral point of view,” say the production notes.

“His willingness to elevate the actors lends greater power to the narrative and provides a fresh perspective on Emperor Caligula's madness,” he adds and points out: “Another achievement is that not a single shot from the original film was not used, making “Caligula – The Ultimate Cut” an entirely new feature film.

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