A few days ago, we reported that Aretha Franklin had filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of Amazing Grace, a documentary about her that had apparently been cobbled together from footage that Sydney Pollack shot in the ‘70s. Franklin claims she never authorized the release of the footage, and therefore she—and the lawsuit—argue that it shouldn’t be released. Franklin and her team have also already successfully got Amazing Grace pulled from the Telluride, Toronto, and Chicago film festivals, which seemed to put any chance of it actually getting released in jeopardy.
However, the filmmakers are apparently not letting all of this hold them back. According to Variety, a “private screening” of Amazing Grace that was “not associated with” the Toronto Film Festival was held this weekend for representatives from Lionsgate, IFC Films, The Weinstein Company, and a handful of other movie studios interested in picking up the documentary’s distribution rights. (We assume the screening took place in one of the filmmakers’ hotel rooms, with everybody crowded around a laptop screen.) Variety notes that the existence of this screening “shows that the producers are intent on getting Amazing Grace into theaters,” but the fact that it has this lawsuit hanging over its head will most likely scare one or two of the prospective buyers off. Whether or not any of these studios do take a bite on the film, we assume we won’t know until after the legal matters are figured out.