File this one under "I" for "Irony," folks.
CleanFlicks, the Utah-based rental purveyor of edited DVDs - movies and TV shows that have had "objectionable content" removed by the firm - is being sued by Mel Gibson.
It seems that CleanFlicks - which takes PG-13 and R-rated movies and removes the profanity, graphic violence, nudity and sexual content before it rents them Netflix-style - went on a bit of a rampage and slashed three minutes out of "The Passion of the Christ."
According to a report on Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV, Ray Lines, the mastermind behind the CleanFlicks operation, says he cut the most graphic parts out of the 127-minute film. "Not a big deal," says Lines.
Gibson's production company, Icon Productions, disagrees and alleges copyright infringement. The lawsuit does not ask for compensation, but seeks to shut down CleanFlicks for good.
What makes this different than other battles CleanFlicks has had with Hollywood over copyright infringement and "artistic integrity" is that Gibson himself previously released an edited, toned-down version of the film. And that may be CleanFlicks' undoing, as their argument has always been that they are providing a necessary service that Hollywood won't.
And then, of course, there's the delicious irony that the film that might ultimately shut down CleanFlicks is none other than "The Passion of the Christ," one that would seem to be tailor-made for their customers without editing of any kind.