It looks as though there is a major roadblock in the way of Relativity Media's planned reboot of The Crow to be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). Earlier we reported that Bradley Cooper was in talks to play the lead role. The roadblock comes in the form of a lawsuit from The Weinstein Company against Relativity.
According to Deadline, the Weinstein's are being repped by Bert Fields, who is seeking injunctive relief and claiming there's "a written contract signed by everybody" which gives them exclusive worldwide distribution rights on the reboot. Of course, Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh disagrees and plans to sell rights to the film to another studio. Negotiations have failed forcing the case to be heard in front of a judge. Here is what Fields had to say about the situation:
"He made a bunch of threats. 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 Crow is scheduled to shoot in the fall, but that is only if an agreement can be made between the studios. The report from Deadline only tells the side of the Weinstein's, we'll report if and when more news is available for Relativity.
What are your thoughts of this news?
Her is a little bit about Relativity's side of the story. Deadline has posted a letter from Relativity's Chicago-based attorney Carol Genis in response to the injunction that Bert Fields sent on behalf of The Weinstein's. Check out the letter below and share your thoughts!
Dear Mr. Fields:
As we have informed you, the project for which you are demanding representations from Relativity is not even in production. Relativity has no obligation whatsoever to produce or distribute The Crow, and certainly has no obligation to assure TWC of anything. Relativity will waste no further time engaging in a hypothetical dialogue with you about a potential dispute that may or may not arise in the future.
In addition to being premature, your letter smacks of delusion as it ignores TWCs multiple breaches of the parties March 25, 2009 agreement (Termination Agreement). TWC openly and undisputedly failed to meet its financial obligations relating to Nine and failed to meet the contractual minimum marketing spend and contractual minimum screens for that film. As TWC is well aware, its wrongful conduct led to serious financial and other damage to Relativity. On top of such breaches, your client has failed to make payments due to Relativity and to provide the required accounting statements. It takes gall for your client to make demands upon Relativity about The Crow, which has not even been greenlit, when TWCs failure to properly distribute Nine demonstrated that it will disregard and breach any and all of its distribution, marketing and financial obligations. If any party is entitled to seek legal remedies it is Relativity.
Further, your continued bluster about filing a lawsuit in an effort to force Relativity to distribute a nonexistent film through TWC is not only absurd, it is a blatant threat to breach the dispute resolution provision of the Termination Agreement. The Termination Agreement does not permit claims for injunctive relief to be brought in court. To the contrary, the Termination Agreement provides that [a]ny and all controversies, claims or disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement shall be resolved exclusively in one or more confidential arbitration proceedings in accordance with the procedures set forth in the NDA. (§ 15 (emphasis added).) The arbitration procedures in the NDA are found at Section 5.2, which sets forth the arbitration forum, rules, and appeal process. Your erroneous claim that TWC can bring a lawsuit arising out of the Termination Agreement is presumably based upon a misapplication of Section 5.1 of the NDA, which permits claims for injunctive relief arising out of an alleged breach of [the NDA] to be brought in court. As you know, the NDA has been terminated and TWC does not and cannot claim that Relativity is breaching or will breach the NDA. There is no good faith reading of these agreements which would permit TWC to file a lawsuit in court for a dispute arising under the Termination Agreement. As such, any claim brought by TWC in court will immediately be met with a motion for dismissal and sanctions. Your client is forewarned and proceeds at its own peril.
Nothing in this letter is intended to waive any rights or claims Relativity may have against TWC, and Relativity expressly reserves all such rights and claims.
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