‘Godzilla’ Legal Battle Between Legendary & Tossed Producers Gets Trial Date

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEIt’ll be almost a year to the day after the new Godzilla hits the big screen, but the long legal clash between Legendary Pictures and a trio of veteran producers dumped from the reboot now has a trial date. Despite Legendary’s efforts to keep the matter private, the parties will be arguing their case in front of a jury in LA Superior Court starting Godzilla 2014 logoMay 17, 2015. That could change if the two sides reach a settlement over credits and compensation for the Warner Bros-distributed tentpole. If that doesn’t happen, the trial, which ejected producers Roy LeeDan Lin and Doug Davison have been seeking since filings started flying in January 2013, is scheduled to last around 10 days. The case was reassigned to Judge Michael Beckloff earlier this week. The new Godzilla movie, from director Gareth Edwards and starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins, opens May 14.

Related: Legendary “Confident” Of ‘Godzilla’ Lawsuit Outcome Despite Appeals Court Loss

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Legendary “Confident” Of ‘Godzilla’ Lawsuit Outcome Despite Appeals Court Loss

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 1:42pm PST

DJP LEGAL BADGEWith mere weeks until the big guy is back in theaters May 16, the Godzilla battle between Legendary Pictures and producers Roy LeeDan Lin and Doug Davison over the upcoming Warner Bros-released reboot looks more likely than ever to be heading to trial. A California Appeals Court judge today rejected Legendary’s attempt to have the matter dealt with in private legendary_pictures_logo__130110013445-275x158__131231055309-1arbitration (read it here). Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst said that “substantial evidence supports the trial court’s finding that  the parties never had a written agreement to arbitrate their dispute.”  On January 9 last year, Legendary filed a complaint to remove Lin, Lee and Davison from the blockbuster project with a puny $25,000 payout. According to Legendary, the tiny sum was all the three were entitled to under the March 2011 Producer Loan Agreement between them and the company. Today’s ruling was in response to a May 10, 2013 ruling by Judge Abraham Khan of the LA Superior Court denying Legendary’s desire for arbitration in the potentially multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Godzilla’

Not that Legendary is breaking a sweat publicly after fighting so hard to keep things behind closed doors. “The Court of Appeals decision today decided nothing more than where Legendary’s dispute with Roy Lee and Dan Lin will be litigated,” the company’s lawyer Dale Kinsella said today after the ruling. “Irrespective of the location of the forum, Legendary is confident it will prevail on the merits of the case, for which this recent ruling has no bearing whatsoever. Kinsella is with Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP. (UPDATE, 2:59 PM - “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed with our legal and factual position,” said the three producers’ lawyer Stanton L. Stein in a statement. “We look forward to presenting our case in a court of law before a jury. We are confident the jury will find in our favor.”) Read More »

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‘Lego Movie’ Empowers Fish Wish For Producer’s Son

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 7:44am PST
Mike Fleming

legomovieDan Lin produced The Lego Movie with Roy Lee for Warner Bros, but he will cede the stage this Sunday to his 9-year-old son Miles. The kid persuaded his father to allow him to organize a charity screening, with tickets at $50 a pop, to get an early peek at the family film. Miles is raising funds for the foundation he started, I Dream Of Fish (check out the website here), devoted to building aquaponic fish farms in India and Africa. The screening is at the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, and I was charmed enough to give the kid a chance to MilesLinpitch his cause because, after all, what 9-year-old do you know who thinks this way?

“My name is Miles Lin and I am 9 years old. I fell in love with fish when I was only 3 years old. It is my passion — all I live for. But my parents taught me that my passions are not only meant for myself, but also for the rest of the world. I tried to think about how I could use fish to help the world and started researching fish farms. But sadly, I found out fish farms weren’t very sustainable. Then I learned about aquaponics and sustainable fish farming and got really excited. Aquaponics uses a system of fish on the bottom, gardens on top. The dirty fish water gives nutrition to the garden above. It’s pretty amazing actually. Read More »

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Dan Lin Inks New Deal With Warner Bros TV, Jennifer Gwartz Named Lin Pictures COO

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 9:36am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Dan Lin’s Lin Pictures has made a new two-year overall deal with Warner Bros TV. Under the pact, the company will continue to develop drama and comedy projects for broadcast and cable. Lin TV’s head of television Jennifer Gwartz has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In her new position, she will continue to head the company’s development while also helping Lin oversee the overall management of Lin Pictures in both features and television. During their previous overall deal with WBTV, Lin and Gwartz developed and executive produced two projects that went to pilot, hourlong drama Secret Lives Of Wives at Lifetime starring Kim Raver and Salli Richardson; and single-camera comedy The Assistants, starring Catherine O’Hara, Stephen Root, and Brittany Snow, which was in serious contention for a series pickup at Fox this past season and remains alive. Read More »

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‘Godzilla’ Lawsuit Looks Trial-Bound After Court Denies Arbitration Request

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 11:14am PDT

The legal battle between Legendary Pictures and producers Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Doug Davison over the Godzilla reboot seems more and more certain to be headed to trial. “We’re not interested in arbitration, we want a jury to hear this case”, said the producers’ lawyer Stanton L. Stein in a hearing today in LA Superior Court. With his clients Lee and Lin looking on, Stein made clear that a jury trial is still his goal despite an agreement today by all parties to pursue mediation. “I understand why they don’t want public scrutiny of this case. I understand why they don’t want their behavior being made public”, he added of Legendary’s efforts to have the case moved to private arbitration.

Back in January dueling suits were filed between the producers and Legendary after the studio sought to remove them from the project with a tiny $25,000 payout. The trio countered with a cross complaint January 17 accusing Legendary of breach of contract. Lin, Lee and Davison are seeking millions in compensatory damages, screen credit, and participation in sequels, prequels, or further remakes. As this legal tussle continues, Godzilla is currently in production in Vancouver with the movie set for a May 16, 2014 release.

Related: ‘Godzilla’ Adds Ken Watanabe, But What About Those Producers? Read More »

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Sony Pictures Buys Remake Rights To Korean Crime Drama ‘New World’

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 11:06am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has emerged from a three-studio bidding battle with screen rights to remake the Korean crime film New World. The deal was mid six-figures and the film will be produced by Roy Lee and Dan Lin, with Jon Silk and John Powers Middleton exec producing. The script will be written by Will Fetters, who has been on fire at Warner Bros. He has scripted the Clint Eastwood-directed remake of A Star Is Born, as well as Crazy For The Storm for Sean Penn to direct, and he most recently rewrote the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best Of Me. 

The original film was written and directed by Park Hoon-jung, who scripted I Saw The Devil and The Unjust. New World has parallels to The Departed, on which Lee was exec producer and Lin was development exec. After a mob boss is gunned down, an outright battle ensues among several mobsters who want to succeed him. One of them is an undercover cop. The pic just got released. Read More »

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‘Godzilla’ Producers Bite Legendary Back In Legal Battle

By | Thursday January 17, 2013 @ 12:24pm PST

Producers Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Doug Davison today launched their own lawsuit in the escalating legal war over the Godzilla reboot. The duo filed a suit against Legendary Pictures in LA Superior Court on Thursday, with the cross complaint alleging breach of contract among other counts (read it here). Seeking a jury trial and millions in damages, this latest legal action also names fellow Godzilla producer and Legendary President/CCO Jon Jashni as a defendant. Legendary’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull was not named in the suit. Today’s action comes in response to Legendary’s suit earlier this month to have Lee and Lin and fellow producer Davison removed from the movie with a $25,000 payout. An action that today’s cross complaint says came about only because the trio of producers were going to assert their claims to a project that that they say they brought to Legendary and that they developed. Read More »

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UPDATE: Mary Parent Boarding ‘Godzilla’, Which Is Getting A Frank Darabont Rewrite And Losing Roy Lee And Dan Lin

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 1 PM:: I can understand why Godzilla is trying to shed producers, because there are plenty. Mary Parent is about done with a deal to come aboard on the producer roster. Parent, whose Disruption banner is based at Paramount, takes the job after working closely with Legendary on the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 8:42 AM: As it stomps its way toward a March production start, Godzilla has two significant developments in the offing. Frank Darabont, who veered into genre territory by launching the AMC series The Walking Dead, has been hired by producer-financier Legendary Pictures to do a final rewrite on the script that was written by The Seventh Son scribe Max Borenstein.

At the same time, Warner Bros-based producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who were among the producers who came into Legendary with a Toho rights deal for the iconic reptile, are in a huge battle with the financier-producer. Legendary, which now controls the rights, wants to drop the producers from the film. As it stands right now, the 3D picture will be produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, along with Brian Rogers, the latter of whom was on the ground floor of the Toho deal. The film will be directed by Monsters helmer Gareth Edwards and has been dated for May 16, 2014 release. Read More »

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‘Trance’ Scribe Joe Ahearne Makes Thriller Pitch Deal To Warner Bros

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Hot off co-writing Trance for director Danny Boyle, Joe Ahearne has sold an untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Warner Bros. Dan Lin will produce under his Lin Pictures banner. Lin’s veep Jon Silk came up with an idea they are keeping under wraps and Ahearne expanded it before they … Read More »

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Warner Bros Goes To The Mountaintop For Moses Epic

By | Wednesday September 28, 2011 @ 5:15pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Here’s an interesting one to ponder on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Warner Bros is courting Steven Spielberg to direct Gods and Kings, an epic-sized film about life of Moses. There haven’t been formal meetings yet, but Spielberg has read the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. Getting Spielberg is a long shot on any film because his deal is complex, his dance card is always full, and Warner Bros would have to be willing to share the picture with DreamWorks. Still, I’ve heard there will be a discussion. Gods and Kings covers the life of Moses from birth to death. In between, there is his awakening to the plight of the Hebrew slaves that led Moses’ struggle against the Pharaoh for their freedom out of Egypt; the Ten Plagues; the Burning Bush; the daring escape across the Red Sea; receiving the Ten Commandments, and delivery to Israel. The film is not a Read More »

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Fox Buys Comedy Based On ‘This American Life’ Segment From ‘Horrible Bosses’ Writer

By | Wednesday September 28, 2011 @ 8:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A 2006 segment from Ira Glass’ This American Life radio program is being turned into a comedy series. Fox has bought a multi-camera comedy pitch based on the “Deal of a Lifetimesegment of the documentary program, with Horrible Read More »

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Dan Lin’s Company Launches TV Division, Signs Overall Deal With Warner Bros TV

By | Tuesday August 2, 2011 @ 3:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After testing the TV waters last season, feature producer Dan Lin is putting down small-screen roots, forming a television division of his company Lin Pictures and signing an overall deal with Warner Bros Television. Veteran TV development executive/producer Jennifer Gwartz has been tapped to run the new division, which is looking to develop drama and comedy projects with aspirational, uplifting stories that are often associated with Lin-produced features. Additionally, Gwartz, who also has feature background having worked on such movies as Scream, Copland, Lethal Weapon 4 and The Matrix, will work closely Lin’s feature development team.

Last season was Lin’s first in television. Through a first-look deal with Warner Bros TV, an extension to his his Warner Bros production deal on the feature side, he sold three projects: Poe, written by Chris Hollier, and Teach, written by Rina Mimoun, to ABC; and Mavericks, written by Gary Scott Thompson, to Fox. One of them, Poe, went to pilot. Gwartz is probably best known for her frequent collaborations with writer-producer Rob Thomas, most recently serving as executive producer on his Fox/WBTV comedy pilot Little In Common, which continues to be in strong contention for a midseason pickup. Read More »

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TOLDJA! ‘Gangster Squad’ Casting Up With Sean Penn And Ryan Gosling, And Now Josh Brolin

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has begun negotiating with Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin to star in Gangster Squad, the Will Beall-scripted crime drama that will be directed by Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer. Production will begin in the fall. Deadline … Read More »

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Warner Bros Remakes ‘The Bodyguard’

By | Wednesday February 23, 2011 @ 3:35pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is rebooting its 1992 hit The Bodyguard, the film that paired Kevin Costner with Whitney Houston and became for its time one of the biggest global hits in studio history with a $411 million worldwide gross.

The film … Read More »

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Spec Script Starring Chris Tucker Sells

By | Monday December 6, 2010 @ 12:43pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: On second thought, no bunny jokes. But Warner Brothers has bought the new spec script The Rabbit – “think Midnight Run”, I’m told — written by Micah Barnett. Chris Tucker is starring and Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes ) is producing. The sale was handled by WME.

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Warner Developing 50s British Sci-Fi Hero

By | Monday July 26, 2010 @ 4:16am PDT

Sam Worthington is attached to star in Dan Dare, a big-budget movie version of the English science-fiction character. Dare was hugely popular in Britain in the 50s, appearing each week in the Eagle comic. Jut-jawed Dare, aided by his tubby … Read More »

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