After almost two years, the $50 million Escape From Planet Earth lawsuit against the Weinstein Company is over. The distributor came to a settlement with plaintiffs Brian Inerfeld and Tony Leech on February 15, the same day the animated film was released. In a document (read it here) filed in the New York Supreme Court, lawyers for both sides filed a motion of discontinuance in the case, effectively ending it. No details of the settlement were made available but because the motion was filed “with prejudice” both sides will be paying their own legal costs. Maybe they all knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of cash for anyone to get. Escape From Planet Earth, which cost $70 million, made only $20.3 million at the box office over its opening holiday four-day weekend. This legal battle started back in March 2011 when the two plaintiffs sued the Weinsteins claiming that the “out of control” brothers “sabotaged what should have been a highly profitable movie through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending and contempt for contractual obligations.” In their suit the duo also claimed that the Weinsteins paid them half a million bucks to keep quiet while the company conducted an ultimately successful campaigned to win The King’s Speech a Best Oscar. Harvey and Bob responded in calling Inerfeld and Leech “vindictive Hollywood talent.” The case had become a “we say/they say,” winding though the courts with multiple motions from both sides. Leech and Inerfeld are represented by Judd Burstein of New York’s Judd Burstein P.C. The Weinsteins were represented by Joseph Kroetsch, Motty Shulman and James Ostaszewski of Boies Schiller & Flexner.
Feature film and TV exec Michael Hefferon has joined CGI animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment as president and executive producer. The announcement by Rainmaker Chairman and CEO Craig Graham reflects the Vancouver-based company’s growth in animation services and original productions such as its partnership with The Weinstein Company on Escape From Planet Earth. As head of Rainmaker, Hefferon joins Kim Dent Wilder, SVP production and operations. Hefferon joins Rainmaker Entertainment from Bardel Entertainment where he oversaw numerous productions and associations with broadcasters worldwide. Separately, Bardel Entertainment CEO Delna Bhesania was appointed to Rainmaker’s board of directors.
The Weinstein Company has posted the first trailer for the animated space alien adventure Escape From Planet Earth. The project has been the subject of prickly back-and-forth litigation between TWC and the original filmmakers, producer Brian Inerfeld and director Tony Leech who departed the project in 2010. …
NEW YORK, NY August 2, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Rainmaker Entertainment announced today the all-star voice cast for ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH which includes Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry, James Gandolfini and Craig Robinson. The 3D animated family comedy is currently in full production.
The announcement was made today by Donna Gigliotti, TWC’s President of Production, and Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer, Rainmaker Entertainment. Both Gigliotti and Winder serve as producers on the animated feature film.
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH is directed by Cal Brunker, best known for his work on the animated feature films DESPICABLE ME, 9 and HORTON HEARS A WHO! Producers Gigliotti and Winder are joined by Rainmaker’s Luke Carroll as a producer on the film. TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein are executive producers. The film was written by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen based on an original screenplay by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards.
Brendan Fraser Kicks Career Into Overdrive Shooting ‘Four Kings’, ‘Escape From Planet Earth’ & ‘Gimme Shelter’ All This Summer
EXCLUSIVE: You remember Brendan Fraser, right? Whose movie career has been in the witness protection program since CBS Films’ Extraordinary Measures and hasn’t had a major hit since 2008′s Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D and The Mummy 3. But whose roles remain as eclectic as anyone’s in Hollywood? Well, he hasn’t changed his ways even though he’s been absent from the box office recently. Fraser will star in what’s being billed to me as a “sweeping epic historical drama” that starts production in Toronto in August. Four Kings is set against the French and Indian War that essentially divided North America. Executive produced by Todd Moyer and James Holt, the film is produced by Jeff Sackman (American Psycho) from a project developed by Telefilm Canada. Fraser, himself a Canadian-American, stars as Colonel Lord Francis Nicholson, a vastly wealthy Brit who self-finances the war in the hope of creating a utopian society in what is now Canada. Writer/director Damian Lee of Alchemist Entertainment is attached.
Fraser will also voice the role of Scorch in The Weinstein Company’s much-delayed 3D animated film, Escape From Planet Earth, about a group of aliens plotting to escape that top-secret Nevada compound popular with conspiracists known as Area 51. It was first announced back in 2006, no kidding! The film is