Just a month after Universal locked its deal to distribute Dumb & Dumber To, the sequel to 1994′s Dumb & Dumber, financier-producer Red Granite Pictures is attempting to freeze out the franchise’s original producers. A lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles seeks the court’s declaration that Red Granite owes no contractual obligation to Dumb & Dumber producers Steve Stabler and Brad Krevoy and that the duo are not entitled to any producer fees or credits they claim they’re contractually owed on the sequel. (Read the complaint here.) The volley marks the second time in the span of a year that neophyte outfit Red Granite has scuffled with producers over prior agreements on projects it has taken over; just last year the company filed a similar suit attempting to cut producer Alexandra Milchan out of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf Of Wall Street despite her contract with Warner Bros, from whom Red Granite assumed the pic. Milchan countersued, and the scuffle was settled with Milchan retaining exec producer credit on the film.
Stabler and Krevoy were part of the Dumb & Dumber team behind the Farrelly Brothers hit comedy that propelled the careers of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. The duo went on to produce the Farrelly’s next comedy Kingpin before becoming co-presidents of Orion Pictures, and returned to produce the 2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Stabler and Krevoy maintain that their original Dumb & Dumber contract with New Line entitles them to involvement in all sequels and remakes. According to today’s filing, Red Granite argues that no agreement exists specifically between the producers and Dumb and Dumber To. Meanwhile, Stabler and Krevoy deny that they’ve made any legal threats against Red Granite. “”We have a contractual right to produce Dumb and Dumber To,” Stabler told Deadline, “and equally as important, we are very disappointed that Red Granite would try to exclude us from the sequel after our experience with the Farrelly brothers and Charles Wessler in developing, casting, and producing the original movie.”