50 Cent Loses Battle For Upcoming Movie Title

September 16, 2011  |  

By Charlotte Young

Nothing is new under the sun but if you’re not careful you may pick that one old thing that can’t be duplicated or in 50 Cent’s case, bought. The Guardian reports that the multi-million selling rapper/actor/entrepreneur recently lost a legal battle over the now former title of his upcoming film, “Things Fall Apart.”

The movie, which stars 50 cent as an American football player diagnosed with cancer, shared the same name as the classic 1958 novel written by iconic Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. The novel tells the tale of an Igbo leader and wrestling champion named Okonkwo, as life in his village takes a challenging turn with the arrival of British Christian missionaries and colonialism. The highly acclaimed novel is read in schools across the world.

Once Achebe heard about 50’s upcoming movie, he and his legal team immediately began to contest the movie’s name, claiming that Achebe exclusively owned the rights to the title. While 50 may have more muscle and street credit than Achebe, he couldn’t win this fight.

The internationally recognized author was not giving up his rights to the title for anything, not even the $1 million 50 Cent offered him in exchange for the title rights.

“The novel with the said title was initially produced in 1958 (that is 17 years before rapper 50 Cent was born),” Achebe’s legal reps said, according to Nigerian news website Naijan.com. They went on to state the novel was “listed as the most-read book in modern African literature, and won’t be sold for even $1 billion.”

Apparently, one man’s borrowed title can never be borrowed again. Achebe did not come up with the title “Things Fall Apart.” He took the phrase from Anglo-Irish WB Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” written in 1919, 39 years before Achebe’s novel. The poem expresses Yeats’ feelings on the aftermath of the first World War. (“Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer/Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”)

None of this seems to matter to Achebe or to the court. 50 Cent’s movie, set to debut in 2012, will now be called “All Things Fall Apart.” Let’s hope no one has a problem with the new name.

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