Warhead: Trial Pushed Off

The trial date for one-time James Bond movie producer Kevin McClory`s lawsuit against MGM over his rights to the 007 franchise has been pushed back from Nov. 9 until sometime next year.

The trial was set to start the day after the world premiere of the new Bond adventure, “The World Is Not Enough,” and just 10 days before the national release of the film on Nov. 19. The original suit had McClory allied with Sony two years ago, just as MGM was opening the last 007 movie, “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Sony settled with MGM earlier this year but octogenarian McClory is continuing with his part.

MGM has been successful in getting the trial moved back from the unfortunate timing of the morning after Monday’s world premiere of the “The World Is Not Enough.” The new trial date for the lawsuit brought by “Thunderball” producer Kevin McClory has been moved to Feb. 22.

McClory’s attorney Tom Girardi said Tuesday he is pleased with the delay because by that time “The World Is Not Enough” should be yet another successful installment in the Bond franchise. McClory claims that he is entitled to certain rights and profits relating to the entire 37-year-old Bond movie franchise because he collaborated with 007 author-creator Ian Fleming in translating Bond from books to cinema.

Girardi said he was also pleased by the court’s decision not to hold a separate trial on the issue of whether McClory waited too long to sue, regardless of whether there is merit to McClory’s claim. “The World Is Not Enough” opens in theaters Nov. 19. A settlement of McClory’s original suit against Fleming in 1963 resulted in McClory getting rights to “Thunderball,” which was remade as “Never Say Never Again” in 1983 with original 007 Sean Connery after another court battle. That film was distributed by Warner Bros. A pretrial hearing in the pending lawsuit has been set for Feb. 14.

The plaintiffs of this case, which include Eighteen Leasing, Seventeen Leasing, United Artists Pict, United Artists Corp, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Danjaq LLC appealed last Wednesday for a continuance in the trial which Judge Rafeedie has now granted.

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