The Weinstein Company (TWC) sued Relativity Media on Wednesday over distribution rights to The Crow, the remake to be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo with Bradley Cooper in talks to star, says The Hollywood Reporter.
The Weinsteins claim that Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity breached a 2009 distribution agreement that allegedly gives TWC the right to release the movie globally. TWC claims Kavanaugh has now been shopping distribution rights elsewhere in violation of the deal.
“We have a written contract and we’re gonna enforce it,” TWC lawyer Bert Fields said. “We’re not going to let these people sell distribution rights.”
Relativity Media responded to The Weinstein Company. You can read their letter below:
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.