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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Madonna film faces court battle
Madonna's Die Another Day
Madonna's Bond music video premières on Thursday
A Los Angeles judge has refused to block the US release of the new Madonna film, despite claims from another actor that the project was his idea.

Swept Away, a remake of a 1974 Italian film, is due to be released in the US on Friday. It is directed by the singer's husband Guy Ritchie.

However, actor Vincent D'Onofrio has filed a lawsuit against the couple and producers Sony, saying it was his idea to remake the film with Madonna in the lead.

"They used his idea and they didn't want to compensate him," D'Onofrio's lawyer Morris Getzels said after the hearing.

Enthusiastic

According to Mr Getzels, D'Onofrio asked a judge to grant a preliminary injunction against the film's release on Friday unless he was given a producer credit.

Although the judge refused his request, D'Onofrio intends to pursue the lawsuit.
Swept Away
Madonna and Adriano Giannini star in Swept Away

"Almost every newspaper article about Swept Away starts with the question of where the idea came from to remake the film," Mr Getzels said.

"And the idea came from my client."

He added D'Onofrio had approached the film's original director, Lina Wertmuller, about the remake, and that Madonna was "very enthusiastic" about the project.

Lawyers

However, in the spring of 2001 he learned the remake was going ahead without him.

"He hired lawyers and has been trying to persuade Madonna to settle but they won't do anything for him," Mr Getzels said.

He said that the case was not the first of its kind, and that it was similar to a case brought against Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton over a 1967 film version of Taming Of The Shrew.

Character actor D'Onofrio has appeared in almost 50 films including Men In Black, The Player, Strange Days, Ed Wood and The Cell.

Swept Away stars Madonna as a wealthy American woman who is stranded on a Greek island with an Italian fisherman, played by Adriano Giannini.

It is due for a UK release in March 2003.

The actress is also about to release a new music video for the latest James Bond film, Die Another Day. It will premiere on MTV on Thursday.

See also:

27 Jul 01 | Entertainment
07 Dec 00 | Entertainment
07 Dec 00 | Scotland
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
22 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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