Oh dear oh dear oh dear, as production kicked off on writer and director Martin Guigui’s Raging Bull 2 just a few weeks ago, MGM have stepped in to attempt to cancel the film altogether. MGM released the classic Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull in 1980, and it is them who own the rights to film and the story, and they have claimed it is they who get first refusal.
MGM are not only suing to halt production, but also to be awarded punitive damages “in an amount sufficient to punish the RB II defendants and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future.” Strong words indeed.
MGM have also claimed that Jake LaMotta (who wrote the book both Scorsese and Guigui’s films are based on) was not authorized to sell the story to another studio without coming to them first. They also claim that Raging Bull 2 is increasing its popularity by linking the film to Scorses’s classic picture, and that by doing this it will tarnish the reputation of Scorsese and MGM’s film. That final statement is a bit mad when you think of it because how could they release a film about Jake LaMotta’s life before and after Raging Bull without some sort of likeness to the original film. Even if they called the film something completely ludicrous like The Loving Cow, people would still make a connection. Anyway, we will have more on this as it develops, but for now check out the recent press release for Raging Bull 2 detailing the start of production:
LOS ANGELES, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — This film may quench the unsatisfied thirst that movie goers desire to see more of this true middleweight boxing legend as well as newcomers who want to see an action film that shows how a man’s inner drive can overcome life’s obstacles. Raging Bull II fills in the gaps and allows us to get to know Jake LaMotta. It answers such questions as what happened to him or what he was like as a youngster. LaMotta himself was present and providing guidance before and during the shoot.
Although Raging Bull gave us the adult version of Jake LaMotta, it did not provide the rare look into Jake’s childhood nor the impact of the after effects of his violent life. Raging Bull II provides this much desired insight into the real-life struggle of a down-and-out pugilist who turns his anger, abusive childhood into a boxing career. Although his brute force turned him into a middleweight champion, it also created challenges in his life.
Martin Guigui, writer-director, has attracted a wealth of established actors, including William Forsythe, Joe Mantegna, Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, along with fresh talent such as Mojean Aria as the young Jake LaMotta. Living up to the legendary Raging Bull is quite a daunting task. Although intriguing, Raging Bull fans will have to wait until 2013 to see the film.
By Matt Wavish