EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE with Relativity reaction below): My day was just made. Right now, there’s a lawsuit being carried to the courtroom clerk in Los Angeles filed by one of the most controversial indie movie moguls against still another most controversial indie movie mogul. Don’t you just love when this happens? Bert Fields is repping Harvey and Bob’s The Weinstein Co against Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media seeking injunctive relief and claiming there’s “a written contract signed by everybody” which gives the Weinsteins exclusive worldwide distribution rights on The Crow reboot. The original was distributed by the Weinsteins at Miramax back in 1994 and grossed $50.6M domestic. The Weinsteins and Kavanaugh went back and forth on “a number of issues” before the lawsuit was filed this afternoon. “Mr. Kavanaugh was not going to honor that contract. Apparently, he’s going to sell these rights to others. He made a bunch of threats,” Fields tells me. “Some people may submit to that kind of arrogant conduct, but we’re not going to do it. If anybody tries to buy these distribution rights in The Crow, they are buying nothing but a lawsuit and they will get sued.” (The photo above is from Ryan and Harv in happier days…)
Needless to say, Relativity Media really laid into the Weinsteins in this reaction statement:
“This is yet another typical litigation stunt from the Weinsteins who have a long history of threatening law suits with the sole purpose of intimidation. If served, Relativity will seek immediate dismissal. While we expect these types of antics from the Weinsteins, we are shocked that a lawyer of Mr. Fields’ caliber would make such false, reckless and intentionally harmful statements to the press about Relativity and Mr. Kavanaugh. We intend to seek appropriate remedies for this misconduct. Clearly this is a feeble attempt to create a press stir and a malicious effort to interfere with Relativity’s development of the project.”
When I asked Fields why Kavanaugh thinks he has the distribution right, Fields replied, “Beats me. Apparently he thinks it’s just going to go away because he wants it to.” Relativity has been working fast to put Edward R. Pressman’s The Crow reinvention of the James O’Barr comic book series together. Bradley Cooper is in early negotiations to star in the role filled by Brandon Lee (son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee) and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) has been tapped to direct. The project is expected to begin production in the fall. The pic is being produced by Kavanaugh, Pressman, Jeff Most, Apaches’ Enrique López Lavigne and Belén Atienza. Relativity’s Tucker Tooley will be executive producer.