Soprano Julia Kogan will now receive a co-writing credit for the 2016 film Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.
The film, which won Streep another Oscar nod, took more than €37 million at the box office. The writer Nicholas Martin had claimed sole credit for the screenplay and won a copyright dispute against his ex-girlfriend – Kogan – over its authorship in 2017. However, a retrial at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) has overturned that decision.
The judge ordered film companies Pathé Productions and Qwerty Films to update the IMDb entry to include Kogan as joint author. Kogan said that she had the original idea, chose the characters, and outlined the story and the dialogue, which was written while in a relationship with Martin.
It was soul-crushing to have years of my work stolen and to be eradicated from my own project. Before filming began, when it became clear that nobody was planning to credit or pay me for any work I’d done on Florence Foster Jenkins, we notified the film companies, Qwerty and Pathe, who had been working with me directly, that I was a co-author and copyright owner, but they refused to credit me. Instead, they chose to release the film without my name on it.
The retrial confirmed that Kogan is 20% co-author and stated,
Ms Kogan’s input was of great importance to all the central characters. One cannot easily reflect this kind of contribution by pointing to specific dialogue or scenes because it suffuses the whole screenplay.
Photo credit: Julia Kogan © Benjamin Ealovega