Lifestyle & Belief

William Faulkner's estate sues Woody Allen over 'Midnight in Paris'


Author William Faulkner's estate is suing filmmaker Woody Allen over a line from last year's "Midnight in Paris."


Frazer Harrison

"The past is not dead! Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party."

Those are the lines from Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," which have gotten the filmmaker involved in a lawsuit.

The suit, filed by Faulkner Literary Rights LLC, charges, "The use of the infringing quote and of William Faulkner’s name in the infringing film is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The original line penned by Faulkner in "Requiem for a Nun," went: "The past is never dead. It's not even past," noted The New York Times.

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Faulkner was one of the literary heavyweights who didn't even make an appearance in the movie, which included cameos from illustrious authors and artists such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel.

Faulkner's estate alleged that Sony did not have the "consent to appropriate William Faulkner's name or his works," and argued that the estate is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees, according to Vanity Fair.

"Midnight in Paris," for which Allen won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, turned out to be his highest-grossing film, taking in $151 million worldwide.

Sony and Allen have not yet commented on the lawsuit.