Robert Rodriguez was sued today for at least $11 million by an independent producer who claims the Machete Kills director used “threats and intimidation” to damage the film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance and a new Steve Wozniak-endorsed app related to the movie. “Rodriguez feared that the promotion of another film starring Danny Trejo would diminish the Machete Kills brand and would threaten box office numbers and thus set in motion a plan to diminish ITN’s reputation and stifle the success of the film and the App Game,” says the five-count complaint (read it here) from ITN Flix. The company is seeking $11 million in damages plus more to be determined by a jury trial. In a filing in federal court Tuesday in Utah, ITN’s lawyers claim that Rodriguez and Trejo’s longtime talent agent Gloria Hinojosa of Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier “bullied, threatened and intimidated all people involved with Film and the App Game to damage sales and sever business relationships.”
As Deadline reported last November, ITN had developed the app Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Wozniak as a way to promote the movie and create another revenue stream. As well, the company was trying to set up a campaign to promote Danny Trejo’s Vengeance on the marketing coattails of Machete Kills, which Trejo also stars in, by offering an 80-20 split with rival exhibitors of Open Road. Open Road picked up distribution for the Machete sequel in October and plans to release the film September 13, 2013. This is the second Machete Kills lawsuit Rodriguez has to face. In late November, Overnight Productions filed a suit to terminate their agreement with the director to make another movie about the rogue Mexican Federale. It successful, the case would revert all Machete rights back to Oversight and could stop the release of the movie. READ MORE »
The Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, the sequel to 2010′s Machete and the second film in a trilogy, will be released September 13, 2013 by Open Road. The distributor acquired the pic in October before … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Production company ITN is pulling out all the stops to promote Danny Trejo‘s upcoming film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance. In addition to the indie company releasing this month a tablet game Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to promote the movie, the plan is to use the eventual release date of Trejo’s Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills as a sort of marketing partner. ITN is shopping Vengeance to rival exhibitors of Machete Kills‘ Open Road Films (a venture between big U.S. circuits AMC and Regal) at a discount, pitching them to open Vengeance three weeks before the eventual release date of Machete Kills. The idea is to draft on that pic’s marketing. We’re hearing the offer is to chains like Carmike and Cinemark for an 80-20 split — well beyond the usual 50-50 or 60-40 deals made for feature films.
If successful it would put two pics in the marketplace at once starring Trejo, the ex-con-turned-drug counselor who was discovered as a movie extra and now has 180-plus films to his credit. Vengeance stars the iconic tough guy as a retired undercover vice cop whose wife and daughter are murdered, and after a serving a jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit he hits the streets bent on revenge. Medina, Trejo’s partner at ITN, directed. ITN is also in development on My Dog Zeus, Have You Considered?, and Jesus And Angelina: A Gangster Love Story. Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.
This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Robert Rodriguez is teaming with producer Alexander Rodnyansky to hatch a sequel to the 2010 action film Machete. Titled Machete Kills, the film is the second in a planned trilogy with what, for my money, is the best ever trailer … Read More »
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital has started work on The Fake Trailer Project, a digital project inspired by Stiller’s own fake trailers that were shown in short doses in the comedy Tropic Thunder. The new project, essentially a series … Read More »
The Zoo, the recently formed New York-based production and management company headed by Jack Turner, has started production on the comedic exploitation film Skinny Dip, which stars Sasha Grey, Pam Grier and Danny Trejo. The grindhouse-esque plot revolves around a woman (Grey) who turns into a shotgun-wielding vigilante after her … Read More »
Here’s a clever trailer for the video game Call Of Duty: Black Ops Escalation–Call of the Dead. The zombie extravaganza at present is an add-on to the latest Call of Duty vidgame, but if the trailer for the zombie vidgame Dead Island created such a stampede among the movie rights … Read More »
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM 3RD UPDATE: Late shows made the difference after a sluggish … Read More »
Even though Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo launch Machete today amidst an onslaught of press that tries to make the film a lightning rod for debate on immigration, that wasn’t their goal. What they really wanted was to bring back the spirit of exploitation films which seemed to seize on a political issue, only to use it as an excuse to blow shit up and drop in as much nudity and over-the-top violence as they could get away with. Mission accomplished. “This was always about making a what would feel like a good old ’70s exploitation film,” Rodriguez told me. “What they did back in the day was, run out, make an over the top movie that exploited a story in the news so that it felt like it was ripped from the headlines of today, and move faster than studios could. That’s what we did. It was 16 years ago when I met Danny and said I needed to make this movie called Machete, because he looked like this Clint Eastwood type who would not back down from a fight. Immigration is still relevant, nobody has done anything about it, but it’s a smokescreen. The real Machete story underneath was always about an action hero you underestimate, who comes from a violent background, this incorruptible former Federale hiding out as a day laborer.” Read More »
Danny Trejo is at Comic-Con this afternoon with director (and cousin) Robert Rodriguez to pump up interest in Machete, the film Fox releases in early September. But Trejo has more on his mind tonight than slinging free tacos to the geek … Read More »