"Lolita" is finally reaching the big screen.
After more than a year of controversy, in which every major studio rejected director Adrian Lyne's adaptation of the Vladimir Nabokov novel, the new film version will be released in the United States by Samuel Goldwyn Co. The release will take place almost simultaneously with its Showtime television premiere on Aug. 2."Lolita," adapted by Stephen Schiff, stars Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert, a middle-age college professor who falls in love with a young girl, Lolita, played by Dominique Swain. Also in the cast are Melanie Griffith as Lolita's mother and Humbert's landlady, and Frank Langella, as Clare Quilty, who also pursues the girl.
Distribution executives at several studios have said that the film's relatively high $58 million cost, coupled with its lack of star power and potentially offensive subject matter, made the 2-hour, 17-minute movie very risky.
Jeff Lipsky, Goldwyn's marketing and distribution chief, said the film's official release would be in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 25, and then in about two dozen large cities over the next few weeks. But the film will also have an earlier one-week run in Los Angeles, starting on July 22, to enable it to qualify for possible Academy Awards.
Under the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a film in theatrical release cannot qualify for Oscars if it has already been shown on television.