The Weinsten Company is suing Relativity Media over the rights to remake the 1994 film, The Crow. Meanwhile, people everywhere else wonder why more than one person wants to remake The Crow.
It was just a few weeks ago entertainment sites started reporting The Crow was on its way to being remade. Based on the comic book series by James O’Barr, Relativity already had a director on board with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and was looking at Hangover star Bradley Cooper to take on the lead role. The Hollywood Reporter even said singer/songwriter Nick Cave had written the most recent draft of the script.
Not so fast says The Weinstein Co.
THR says that in the lawsuit, “TWC claims that Relativity, the Ryan Kavanaugh studio, has breached a 2009 distribution agreement that allegedly gives TWC the right to release the movie globally. Harvey Weinstein and gang claim Kavanaugh has now been shopping distribution rights elsewhere in violation of the deal.”
If you like legal speak, you can read the entire lawsuit here but basically, the Weinstein Co.’s lawyer says they had a contract and they aren’t going to let anyone sell the distribution rights to the film.
Relativity has responded to the suit with this statement:
This is yet another typical litigation stunt from the Weinsteins, who have a long history of threatening lawsuits with the sole purpose of intimidation. If served, Relativity will seek immediate dismissal. While we expect these types of antics from the Weinsteins, we are shocked that a lawyer of Mr. Fields’ caliber would make such false, reckless and intentionally harmful statements to the press about Relativity and Mr. Kavanaugh. We intend to seek appropriate remedies for this misconduct. Clearly, this is a feeble attempt to create a press stir and a malicious effort to interfere with Relativity’s development of the project.
Relativity has hired lawyer Carol Genis to represent them and has since fired back with their own allegations in a letter to the Weinsteins. From THR, “Genis blames TWC for failing to meet obligations on the 2009 musical Nine, which was financed in part by Relativity but released by TWC. ‘It takes gall for your client to make demands upon Relativity about The Crow, which has not even been greenlit, when TWC’s failure to properly distribute Nine demonstrated that it will disregard and breach any and all of its distribution, marketing and financial obligations.’ the letter states.”
Genis also says in the letter, “Your client is forewarned and proceeds at its own peril.” Yikes.
I have no window into the company’s legal issues but it is important to note that The Crow was originally released under the Miramax Films Dimension imprint which The Weinstein Co. took with them when they left Disney. No idea how this one will shake out but it will probably get even nastier before the end.