They didn’t get to make Escape From Planet Earth but the producer and the director suing the Weinstein Company for $50 million will get to see it soon. “Brian Inerfeld, Tony Leech and their counsel (collectively “Plaintiffs) shall be permitted to view the current version of the film titled Escape From Planet Earth ( “the Draft Film”) at a private screening arranged by The Weinstein Company, LLC (“TWC”),” ordered judge Paul Feinman about the animated film on June 18. This ruling (read it here), said the judge, “..in conjunction with ongoing settlement discussions” between the parties in the multi-million suit that Inerfeld, Leech and Protocal Pictures filed against the Weinsteins last March. In standard procedural legal language, the New York Supreme Court judge also reminded the plaintiffs that they “shall not reveal any information about the Draft Film to any person not entitled to receive such information under the terms of the Confidentiality Order.” Escape From Planet Earth is scheduled to be released on February 14, 2013. No word on when or where the screening for Leech and Inerfeld will be held. The Weinstein brothers are not expected to be in attendance for the screening. However, with the parties at this stage, in what has been a contentious and salacious suit so far, any settlement talks must be now discussing credits for Leech, who also co-wrote the original script, and Inerfeld.
The duo, who worked on 2005’s Hoodwinked for the Weinsteins, originally sued Harvey and Bob last spring claiming the “out of control” brothers “sabotaged what should have been a highly profitable movie through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending and contempt for contractual obligations.” Of course the Weinsteins saw it differently, calling the two “vindictive Hollywood talent.” Don’t know if the description in the original 2011 complaint (read it here) of diabetic Harvey crawling on his hands and knees eating spilled M&Ms off a screening room floor was vindictive but it was certainly illuminating. Leech and Inerfeld also said in their suit that the Weinsteins paid them half a million bucks to keep quiet while the company conducted an ultimately successful campaigned to win The King’s Speech a Best Oscar that year. A source close to the case tells Deadline that the duo, who were let go from the film in August 2010, were in fact paid that sum in the hopes that they would realize the relationship was over. The source also says Leech and Inerfeld were paid all the fees, amounting to close to $3 million each, due to them. “They couldn’t deliver the movie that was expected, so they were fired,” said the source. The Weinsteins said last summer that they would release Escape in 2013 with the director’s credit going to Despicable Me storyboard artist Cal Brunker and Leech getting a “based on an original screenplay” co-writing credit. Leech and Inerfeld are represented by Judd Burstein of New York’s Judd Burstein P.C. The Weinsteins are represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.