The yearlong Dumb And Dumber To legal battle between Red Granite Pictures and producers Steve Stabler and Brad Krevoy is over. The producers today requested their racketeering allegations against the financiers be dismissed. This filing (read it here) means, I’ve learned, that the two sides have reached a confidential settlement to the lawsuit that Red Granite launched last July 15 to get the franchise’s original producers off the sequel. RGP said at the time that Stabler and Krevoy had no right to be a part of the Universal–distributed follow-up to the 1994 hit. No right translated into no credits or fees for the producers on the $35 million budget-project. While details were not disclosed, settlements in cases like this mean it’s very likely you’ll see Stabler and Krevoy in the Dumb And Dumber To credits now.
This wasn’t exactly down to the wire but it was getting close. A hearing on the claims of racketeering and other illegal activity was set for August 19. Even with today’s filing, the case itself is still formally scheduled to go to trial October 9, or just more than a month before the Jim Carrey– and Jeff Daniels-starring comedy sequel opens November 15, 20 years after the original. However, expect that to disappear from the docket soon.
Things in the case ever took an underworld turn this year when the defendants alleged that The Wolf Of Wall Street financier RGP was fueled by cash from “ill-gotten gains” and “unlawful activities.” Red Granite principal Riza Aziz is the stepson of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and has been accused by the likes of former UK PM Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law of financing the company through illicit funds from that country and others. The March 25 filing by Stabler and Krevoy’s attorneys added alleged violations of the much Mob-used RICO Act. No surprise, RGP called the claims “false, malicious and baseless” as well as “demonstrably untrue.” The producers-financiers’ lawyers filed a demurrer on April 29 to get the RICO claims tossed.
Despite that and a flurry of filings over the past year, there was a hint that something was up in recent weeks between lawyers for RGP’s Aziz and Joey McFarland and Stabler and Krevoy’s, with continuance on hearings filed with the Court. Now we know for sure what they were really talking about.
Bryan Freedman, Steven Stiglitz and Steven Formaker of LA’s Freedman & Taitelman, along with Gary Gans of Quinn Emanuel’s LA office, represented Stabler and Krevoy.(Full disclosure: Freedman also is the attorney for Deadline’s parent company PMC. )Patty Glaser, Paul Salvaty and Camilla Chan of Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP represented Red Granite and its principals in the case.