Friends With Benefits' title cleared for Screen Gems' comedy

Screen Gems is clear to go forward with the title Friends with Benefits for its new comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, the studio confirms. Screen Gems was waiting for Paramount Pictures to drop their protest on the title - Paramount is currently in production with director Ivan Reitman on a film with the same title. (The studio did drop their complaint Thursday.) Now Friends With Benefits will begin production in July in New York and Los Angeles.

But to complicate matters, NBC is planning a Friends with Benefits sitcom as a mid-season replacement. It comes from 500 Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and centers on five friends looking for love but settling for 'friends with benefits' instead. The duo is executive producing along with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). Considering the show doesn't yet have a concrete air date, there is no real confusion yet in the marketplace. But a heated battle may come sooner than later. An NBC spokesperson tells that the series title is locked and they are expecting the feature to change its name. Screen Gems contends that due to its production schedule, they don't expect an issue to arise.

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