Company Town : Producers Plan Lawsuit Over Film Credits

A group of 40 top-ranking producers--including Robert Rehme, Richard and Lili Zanuck, Dawn Steel, Arnold Kopelson and Lawrence Gordon--said Thursday that it will challenge in court a controversial contractual clause to which the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed last month.

Under the terms of the agreement, on which the producers were not consulted, the positions of writers' and producers' names on a film's opening credits would be switched so that the writers' credits would occupy the more prestigious spot just before the director's. The guild is expected to approve the minimum basic agreement March 28, and the new policy would take effect 60 days later.

The producers, who want the current system of credits maintained, said they have hired the law firm Stein, Kahan & Rosenberg and have contributed several hundred thousand dollars to establish a legal defense fund.

"If the matter isn't resolved to our satisfaction," Kopelson said, "we expect to be in court within the next 10 days."


Inside Hollywood

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