Faulkner’s estate sues Sony Pictures Classics over quote

Movie producers didn’t have permission to use quote in “Midnight in Paris”

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." Well, that’s not quite how Owen Wilson quoted the famous William Faulkner line in “Midnight in Paris,” but Faulkner Literary Rights—the famous author’s estate—say it’s close enough. And because film studio Sony Pictures Classics didn’t ask for and receive permission before (mis)quoting the line from Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun,” his estate is taking Sony to court.

The Oscar-nominated film centers on a writer who travels back to 1920s Paris. At one point, Wilson’s character says, “The past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past.” Because of that line, Faulkner’s estate is claiming copyright infringement and seeks "damages, disgorgement of profits, costs and attorney fees," the suit says.


Cathleen Flahardy

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