Things have turned ugly, and will continue to get even uglier as Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity battle with the Weinsteins over the rights to distribute the Crow remake which will star Bradley Cooper as the doomed rocker Eric Draven. Things got really serious this week as The Hollywood Reporter said that Relativity had been granted the right to arbitrate the case by a Supreme Court Judge because of a clause in the contract. The whole mess began back in April when Relativity apparently broke a distribution contract with the Weinsteins and decided to distribute the Crow remake without their permission. The Weinsteins own the distribution rights to the Crow, and so own the rights to the remake. The word is from Relativity that the Weinsteins forced them to look elsewhere by refusing funding, and also used intimidation. Anyway, as the issue escalates, here are the two statements given by each of the company’s lawyers:
Relativity and its lead lawyer Carol Genis issued the following statement, clearly happy so far;
Relativity Media prevailed over The Weinstein Company in court today. The Court agreed with Relativity that TWC’s lawsuit against Relativity was improper and violated the parties’ arbitration agreement. TWC must now defend itself in the ongoing arbitration proceeding filed by Relativity. In that proceeding, Relativity claims damages in excess of $20 million against TWC for its egregious mishandling of the movie Nine and seeks rescission of the parties’ agreement with respect to The Crow. Today’s ruling demonstrates that TWC’s efforts to misuse the court system as a means of intimidation against Relativity failed. Relativity expects to prevail on all of its claims against TWC in arbitration.
Bert Fields, lawyer of the Weinsteins had this to say:
“Relativity has attempted to distort a garden variety procedural motion into something it was not. They should be ashamed of themselves. Today’s hearing was completely procedural. At issue was an ambiguous provision in a contact which made it unclear whether TWC’s injunction claim against Relativity should be heard in court or in an arbitration. The Court acknowledged that the provision was not a model of clarity and further suggested that it was a close question as to whether arbitration or litigation was the appropriate forum. There was no misuse or abuse of the system. The Court said nothing remotely like that. Any suggestion by Relativity to the contrary is patently false. Relativity’s gratuitous attacks on the motives of TWC and its counsel are both unprofessional and grossly inaccurate.”
All this really means is that The Crow remake is a long long way off, which aint really a bad thing as the original is too good to be messed with.
By Matt Wavish