This post has been updated. See below for details.
The spirit of compromise prevailed late Friday in the drawn-out legal battle over the title of director
The MPAA overturned its original ruling from earlier this month that would have forced the
The new decision allows for the use of "butler" in conjunction with other words – most likely "Lee Daniels' The Butler" – stipulating that the lettering for the words "Lee Daniels" has to be at least 75% the size of the words "The Butler."
The new ruling arrives on the heels of no small amount of legal head-banging and public hair-splitting between Warner Bros. and Weinstein Co. In early July, Weinstein Co.'s high-powered attorney, David Boies, fired off letters to the MPAA and Warner Bros. disputing allegations that it had flouted the MPAA's title registration process. And Daniels sent a heartfelt personal appeal to Warner Bros. Entertainment Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara (the studio boss responded with a private letter).
Warner Bros. attorney John Spiegel went on to slam Weinstein Co. in a letter to the MPAA in which he points to the independent studio's "disturbing pattern and practice of flagrant [Title Registration Bureau] rules violations."
Under the new MPAA ruling, news of which Variety broke Friday evening, Weinstein Co. now owes the
(Update: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that Deadline broke the news of this ruling. Variety posted its report at 7:34 pm, a full six minutes ahead of Deadline's.)