August 23, 2008 / 1:16 AM / 10 years ago

Ax falls on "Fifty Dead Men" screening

MONTREAL (Hollywood Reporter) - Canadian distributor TVA Films on Friday canceled a press screening for Kari Skogland’s British spy drama “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” which stars Ben Kingsley and Rose McGowan and is slated to have its world premiere September 10 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"Fifty Dead Men Walking" star Ben Kingsley poses during a photocall at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 9, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

The distributor cited “a print problem.” But the cancellation came on the same day that the biopic’s main subject, former IRA infiltrator Martin McGartland, threatened legal action against the Canadian-British co-production to stop the festival bow on grounds that the feature infringes his moral rights.

Skogland adapted McGartland’s 1998 book of the same name for his feature, which portrays an IRA mole named Marty who provided information to Britain’s Special Branch before his cover was blown in 1991.

“The film is an entirely false and distorted account of what took place,” McGartland said in a statement issued Friday, adding that he was “reserving all my legal rights and remedies in this matter.”

The film’s producers, Brightlight Pictures of Vancouver and Future Films in London, and Toronto festival organizers could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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