Will Kubrick break cover?

A LIBEL action brought by one of the world's most reclusive film- makers against a satirical magazine has raised the intriguing prospect that he will make a very public appearance at the High Court in March.

Stanley Kubrick, who made 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange, and is regarded as one of the greatest film directors of the century, has not given an interview since the early Sixties and there are even disputes as to what he looks like.

Although Mr Kubrick would not be obliged to appear in person to pursue his claim against Punch magazine, legal experts believe not to do so could hinder his chances. But the prospect of having to run the gauntlet of photographers outside the High Court is unlikely to appeal to the American director, who has lived in seclusion in Britain since 1961.

"How are you going to convince a jury that you're terribly upset if you do not go to court to tell them?" said one solicitor.

The article which offended Mr Kubrick appeared in the "Lowdown" gossip column in last August's issue of Punch. The anonymous article, about his latest film, Eyes Wide Shut, said of Mr Kubrick: "There's a thin line between being an artistic perfectionist and being a barking loon."

Schilling and Lom, his lawyers, have issued a writ, claiming the piece was "grossly defamatory". But James Steen, the editor of Punch, said yesterday: "We're not going to back down. I don't think we've done anything wrong."

A preliminary hearing is due to be heard at the beginning of March, at which both sides will endeavour to have the other's arguments struck out.

It is understood that Mr Kubrick's lawyers will argue the article suggests he is clinically insane. Punch claims it does nothing of the sort and was a light-hearted joke.

"It was tongue-in-cheek. [The legal action] is just laughable and I'm surprised it started in the first place," Mr Steen said. A magazine insider said: "Punch is not The Lancet [the medical journal]. We're not saying he's clinically insane. What it means is he's a well-meaning eccentric."

If the court decides there is any chance a jury might find for Mr Kubrick then it will go before a jury. However, sources close to the case believe if that happens, it could be the autumn before a full hearing takes place. Mr Kubrick's lawyer, Mark Thomson, did not return the Independent on Sunday's calls.

The latest projected release date for Eyes Wide Shut, which has become notorious for the length of time it has taken to be released, is "summer 1999".

A spokesman for Warner Bros, the film company backing Mr Kubrick, said it was "looking like August" in Britain and July in the US.

Kubrick dislikes flying and travel. For his film Lolita, Gerrards Cross stood in for the US, and east London became the Vietnamese city of Hue for Full Metal Jacket.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Nursery Assistants RequiredNursery Assis...

Supply Teachers needed in Bolton!

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

English Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIREDWe are ...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments