Six months after Godzilla copyrights holders Toho took Voltage Pictures and writer-director Nacho Vigalondo to court over the monster movie Colossal, the parties have reached a deal – and no one had to flatten Tokyo in the process.
“It is hereby stipulated and agreed by and between the parties to this action, through their respective counsel of record, that this action be dismissed with prejudice, with each party bearing their own respective fees and costs,” said the filing (read it here) today in Los Angeles federal court. “The parties are entering into this stipulation because the matter has been settled.”
While the settlement is confidential, I’ve learned that Voltage and Vigalondo have a line they are not to cross. The former defendants have agreed that the Anne Hathaway-starring Colossal will not feature Godzilla or an obvious derivative of the giant lizard most recently featured in Legendary Pictures‘ 2014 blockbuster. Production is now underway in Vancouver.
Japan-based Toho sued Voltage for copyright infringement in mid-May as the company was shopping Colossal around the Cannes Film Festival. It wasn’t hard to see why as Voltage’s pitch included photos of Godzilla movies and Vigalondo was quoted in an interview that he was going to make “the cheapest Godzilla movie ever.” Hathaway stars as a woman who moves back to her hometown after losing her job and boyfriend — only to discover that she is somehow strangely connected to a giant lizard-like monster that materialized over Tokyo and is wreaking havoc on that city. Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell and Tim Blake Nelson also star.
Being that Legendary has a Godzilla sequel in the pipeline for 2018, the often litigious Toho pounced on the Cannes pitch with lawyers from Bert Fields’ firm Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. And it looks like their lizard walked away a winner, as is often the case.
Aaron Moss and Charles Shepard of Greenberg Glusker represented Toho in the case. Michael J. Plonsker of Plonsker Law LLP and Carole Handler of Eisner Jaffe handled things for Voltage and Vigalondo.