AceShowbiz - Mel Gibson has lost his bid to block the release of The Professor and the Madman.
The actor and filmmaker and his producing partner Bruce Davey have been developing the project for nearly two decades, with the movie based on Simon Winchester's book, The Surgeon of Crowthorne.
Portraying the origins of the Oxford English Dictionary, the film features Gibson as Professor James Murray, an academic who receives over 10,000 entries from a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Dr. William Chester Minor, as played by Sean Penn.
Farhad Safinia wrote the screenplay and directed the film, but Gibson launched a lawsuit against his co-producers at Voltage Pictures last August (17) for "jeopardising" the project, after allegedly failing to honour a production deal and engaging in fraudulent behaviour.
According to reports, Gibson claimed Voltage bosses failed to provide a final budget, did not allow "critical" scenes to be shot in Oxford, England, did not secure a completion bond, and "prevented" Safinia from completing the film "in accordance with the agreed upon screenplay".
However, Voltage executives claimed a cut Safinia turned in was over the allotted two-hour run-time, and the additional shoots in Oxford would have added more time and cost an extra $2.5 million (£1.9 million).
Gibson was seeking to have Judge Ruth Kwan rule Voltage bosses violated the agreement and to grant him the rights to the film, but on Tuesday, June 19, she sided with the producers.
"Plaintiff did not submit admissible evidence showing the existence of an actual controversy with Defendants," she wrote.
Kwan's ruling has opened up a path for the film to be released, but it is unclear if it will make it to the big screen.