Period drama The Painted Veil has sparked a battle between its studio and producer over the final cut of the movie, with fears that delays editing the film and poor promotion will hinder its chances at next year's (07) Oscars.
The Edward Norton and Naomi Watts-starring film is only due for release later this month (DEC06) - just two months ahead of the February Academy Awards - and producer Bob Yari is angry that Warner Bros has allegedly not fully supported the project.
Despite offering to buy the film and supplement the studio's marketing campaign, Yari maintains the studio "wants the film buried" in favour of other Oscar contenders THE DEPARTED, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and HAPPY FEET.
However, Warner Bros studio president ALAN HORN insists the movie giant has faith in the film, and the Oscar campaign has been hampered only by the delays stemming from the deal producers made to shoot in China.
He tells the Hollywood Reporter, "We have an awful lot of movies and Painted Veil has a relatively modest budget. It's a terrific, well-made movie that's emotional and about something, an interesting and different film. We need to get it seen by people. A lot of critical reviews are not in. There's time to push it if it resonates with the critical community. We'll see."