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Ryan Kavanaugh denied producing credit on 'The Fighter'

An appeal by Relativity Media's CEO is turned down by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

January 13, 2011|By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times

Producer Ryan Kavanaugh has lost his final appeal for producing credit on "The Fighter," denying one of Hollywood's biggest financiers a shot at his first Oscar.

Kavanaugh, chief executive of movie production company Relativity Media, presented his case to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday and was turned down, according to people familiar with the situation. The denial came despite letters of support from director David O. Russell and other producers involved in the film.

The move comes days before academy voters are required to turn in their nomination ballots for this year's Academy Awards, set for Feb. 27.

Although there is no guarantee that "The Fighter" will make it on the list of 10 nominations for best picture, the drama starring Mark Wahlberg as an over-the-hill boxer with one last shot at glory nonetheless is viewed as a strong contender given its attention from other award givers.

Kavanaugh declined to comment, as did the academy.

Kavanaugh's plight serves as a stark contrast to the successful appeals regarding producer credits initiated on behalf of both "The Social Network" and "Black Swan" to the Producers Guild of America recently.

In the case of "The Social Network," producer Michael De Luca was left out of the credits but was later reinstated after co-producers, Sony Pictures, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin all wrote letters to the Producers Guild vouching his role in the movie.

As for "Black Swan," Mike Medavoy and Brian Oliver were also given producer credits on appeal, after initially being denied by the Producers Guild. Letters from Medavoy and fellow producer Scott Franklin supplying more information about their roles in making the film helped to overturn the ruling.

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