The Edward R. Pressman Film Corp. is vigorously objecting to the assignment of The Crow inside the Relativity bankruptcy, saying that “adequate assurance of future performance” has not been demonstrated by the Stalking Horse bidder. Claiming a lack of confidence in the process, the Pressman company says that the contract is at “a critical juncture and will suffer material and irreparable harm if the financing necessary to fund the production of the film is delayed.” This becomes an even bigger deal when you factor in that Relativity currently holds The Crow sequel, prequel and remake rights too – as will whoever ends up taking the Chapter 11’d company over.
The film, which still has director Corin Hardy on board, has been dealt one setback after another. According to the filing made today, they began pre-production of the picture but remain unable to commence principal photography. “During the course of its efforts, it lost the services of key personnel required to produce the picture, including its star Jack Huston. It is also in danger of losing the services of the director of the picture … who is widely regarded as a key creative element. Thus, the production of the picture is imploding even as the time to make the picture is running out under the Crow contract.”
It states that Relativity has, to date, invested “in excess of $7 million” with $2.5 million paid to exercise the options to acquire the rights. And that if principal photography does not start within three years of from when the deal was done, it reverts back to Pressman, which they say will now happen in 18 months. Also, the deal with Relativity stipulated that the pic must be released on “no less than 1,000 screens” in North America which they say requires an investment of “no less than $10 million to $12 million.”
However, Pressman says Relativity has failed to assemble financing and “the evident inadequacy of the financing proposed by the Stalking Horse Bidder, a number of well-financed producers and studios have either expressed interest in or attempted to negotiate a purchase of the rights to the Crow contract,” but that has been rejected by Relativity.
Based on all these factors, Pressman says that Relativity “should not be permitted to assume and assign the Crow contract” except to someone who will finance the project and commit to theatrical distribution. Because the Stalking Horse has not provided adequate assurance being able to finance and distribute the project, Pressman has asked the court to deny Relativity rights to The Crow unless he gets proper assurances that they will finance and distribute the film.
Deadline’s Dominic Patten contributed to this report.