The long-simmering Dumb & Dumber To producers’ lawsuit has really heated up in recent weeks. Noting allegations that I reported back in late January, Steve Stabler and Brad Krevoy are now claiming that financiers Red Granite is awash in “ill-gotten gains” and dirty money. “Red Granite is funded with monies that include proceeds from unlawful activities,” says an amended complaint filed late last month by the two producers (read it here). “Defendants have engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity, in that they have engaged in multiple financial transactions within the United States — including financing of The Wolf Of Wall Street and then separately financing Dumb And Dumber To — with knowledge that the property involved represented the proceeds of unlawful activity and with knowledge that the transactions were designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of the illegal activity,” the 25-page March 25 filing adds alleging violations of much Mob-used RICO Act. Red Granite principal Riza Aziz is the stepson of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and has been accused by the likes of former UK PM Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law of financing the company through illicit funds from that country and others.
Unsurprisingly, Red Granite attacked those claims and is doing the same to what Stabler and Krevoy now have said. “These false, malicious and baseless allegations are demonstrably untrue, and Red Granite looks forward to the prompt dismissal of these claims,” the company said today in a statement. “Not surprisingly, given they have no facts to back up their accusations, Messrs. Krevoy and Stabler resorted to rank speculation and innuendo. There is simply nothing to these naked allegations.”
This all started last July when Red Granite fired off a complaint to have Stabler and Krevoy tossed off the sequel to Dumb & Dumber, the 1994 film starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, without any of the producer fees or credits the duo said they’re contractually owed. Claiming that they were supposed to $400,000 in front-end compensation for the sequel, which Red Granite picked up the rights to a few years back, the two veteran producers shot back in a counterclaim soon afterward. Among other things, they said that RG principals Aziz and supposed former party planner Joey McFarland were neophytes who lacked the skills to produce movies. Of course that was before Red Granite financed and pulled off The Wolf Of Wall Street. Then again, Red Granite had a legal battle of its own when the company filed a similar suit attempting to cut producer Alexandra Milchan out of the Martin Scorsese film despite her contract with Warner Bros, from which Red Granite picked up the movie. In that case, similar to this one, Milchan countersued. The situation was settled, with Milchan retaining an EP credit on the Oscar-nominated film. Since its release late last year, Wolf also has proved a good bet for Red Granite financially, grossing more than $376 million worldwide.
In this latest case, Bryan Freedman, Steven Stiglitz and Steven Formaker of LA’s Freedman & Taitelman are representing Stabler and Krevoy. Full disclosure: Freedman also is the attorney for Deadline’s parent company PMC. Loeb & Loeb’s Barry Mallen is representing Red Granite and its principals in the case.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.