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Bad blood in Venice over "Bad Lieutenant" title

 U.S. actor Nicolas Cage (R), actress Eva Mendes (C) and German director Werner Herzog arrive on the red carpet during the
U.S. actor Nicolas Cage (R), actress Eva Mendes (C) and German director Werner Herzog arrive on the red carpet during the 'Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans' premiere at the 66th Venice Film Festival September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
— image credit: Reuters

By Cindy Martin and Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - There has been more bad blood in Venice over "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," a movie starring Nicolas Cage that borrowed its title from Abel Ferrara's 1992 cult classic "Bad Lieutenant."

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is directed by Germany's Werner Herzog, who says he never saw Ferrara's original and that his movie, which also centers around a deranged detective, should not be compared to the original.

But when Ferrara heard about the idea of a movie taking its title from his film starring Harvey Keitel, he said: I wish these people would "die in hell."

At the Venice film festival to present "Napoli Napoli Napoli," his portrait of Naples, the director said he did not have a problem with Cage or Herzog but with unnamed producers who decided to use the title.

"My beef is with the producers," he told Reuters in Venice, where Herzog has also been with two of his movies both in the festival's main competition lineup.

"I don't have a problem with Werner," Ferrara added. "Nicolas, I could never have a problem with an actor, you know what I mean? I feel as a director like a father to all the actors or a brother to all the actors.

"That movie (Bad Lieutenant) was made when nobody got a penny, nobody got anything. And then you go back and use that trademark ... to make a film in which people get millions of dollars, and that one person involved in that film is involved in this film. That is unacceptable, okay? Unacceptable."

"I DON'T DRINK WHISKY"

Earlier in the festival Herzog was asked about the relationship between the two movies, and conceded that the title was the result of pressure from one of his producers wanting to turn it into "some sort of a franchise."

He said he had insisted on adding the words "Port of Call New Orleans" to differentiate it from the 1992 film.

When asked about Ferrara's criticism, Herzog said: "I have absolutely no problem. However, I would like that Abel Ferrara sees my film and if I know he sees mine I will promise him that I will see his film."

He added that they should get together over a bottle of whisky.

Ferrara responded: "I don't drink whisky, I drink beer, I drink Budweiser."

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