UPDATED, 4:10 PM: The Section 6 lawsuit that sees two studios pitted against each other is starting to move faster than the opening sequence of a James Bond movie. Just three days after Universal responded to the multi-claim complaint from MGM and Bond producer Danjaq, the plaintiff today fired back with a response to the response. “Defendants thus admit that they not only have no plans to stop their infringing conduct, but that they are forging ahead—right now,” says today’s 4-page filing in federal court (read it here). “Even worse, as Universal knows from public reports, plaintiffs are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the next James Bond motion picture, slated for theatrical release in October 2015 and home video release in early 2016,” the filing adds. On April 3, MGM and Danjaq hit Universal with a complaint for unspecified damages and an injunction against the announced Aaron Berg-written World War I spy drama. The plaintiffs charged that Section 6 was a rip-off of the James Bond properties, which they own. On April 11, Universal claimed in a filed of its own that the film was not even greenlighted and was still in the very early stages of development and did not infringe on the Bond copyright at all when the script was in its final form. “In essence, Universal’s response is to claim: ‘Just trust us, we’re trying to fix it. But it will take time.,’” the filing says. “That is no basis for Universal to avoid the targeted discovery plaintiffs seek. Without that expedited discovery, any attempt by plaintiffs to obtain preliminary relief would be tantamount to shooting at a moving target. The Court cannot possibly ascertain the status quo under such circumstances, let alone fashion appropriate relief to address it.” Judge Dean D. Pregerson will have to weigh in on this soon, but it sounds like both studios can use an M to separate them in this you said/I said schoolyard brawl.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:39 AM: Looks like Universal have brought their own legal license to kill on board in the Section 6 lawsuit with MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq — in more ways than one. Just over a week after being hit by a multi-claim copyright infringement suit by the duo, the studio has responded and they’ve brought a top operative in Bert Fields to handle things for them. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM has set acclaimed theatre director Thea Sharrock to direct Me Before You, the adaptation of the Jojo Moyes best-selling novel. Karen Rosenfelt is producing what would be Sharrock’s feature debut.
The novel tells the story of Lou, a small-town girl caught between dead-end jobs, and Will, a success all his life who finds himself wheelchair-bound after an accident. He finds no reason to live until they meet when he hires her as his caretaker for six months, and she becomes determined to prove to him life is worth living. They head for a series of adventures together, which changes each of them. The author wrote the first draft of the script, and (500) Years Of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber did the most recent draft. Read More »
In the latest effort mining its deep library catalog for feature film franchises, MGM said today that it is developing a new Pink Panther movie, a live-action/animated hybrid that will take its cues from the tone set by the original Friz Freleng and David De Patie cartoons in addition to that of Blake Edwards’ films. That means that the focus will be on the Pink Panther character itself more than Inspector Clouseau, who took over the spotlight for Edwards’ movies thanks to Peter Sellers’ creation of one of the most iconic comedy characters of all time. There have been 11 Pink Panther feature films (and countless cartoons and shorts) spanning five decades — like another MGM property James Bond one of the movie business’ longest-running feature franchises.
Walter Mirisch, exec producer of the original movies and TV series, has come aboard to produce the new pic along with Edwards’ widow Julie Andrews. The Simpsons Movie and Monsters Inc director David Silverman will direct. MGM’s SVP Production Cassidy Lange will oversee the film for the studio. Read More »
Josh Wiggins has nabbed a lead role in MGM‘s Max, the family adventure film being directed by Boaz Yakin. The original pic is inspired by true events. A Belgian Shepherd working in Afghanistan alongside Marines returns … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM is reviving its Barbershop franchise. The film company is negotiating a mid-seven-figure deal with Ice Cube to reprise his role as the catalyst for Barbershop 3. They are about to start talking to writers and … Read More »
It’s easy to see why the studio would rather focus on the 12-month results. With hit films including Skyfall and The Hobbit, and TV series Vikings and Teen Wolf, full-year revenues jumped 11% to $1.53B. Net income … Read More »
In the latest class action over a studio’s alleged miscalculation of home video revenue, the daughter of a late Hollywood producer is leading a charge against MGM. Joan J. Buck of New York claims that, in a “common and systematic [industry] practice,” the studio only calculates revenue on DVDs, tapes, VOD, streaming and such based on one-fifth of what it actually takes in. A pair of class actions were filed early last year claiming the same 20% calculation by studios — one against Warner Bros led by Hal Needham, who has since died, and another targeting Universal, Paramount, Fox and Sony. “The standard contract entered into between the business parties requires the calculation of revenue to be based on 100% of the revenue received by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Studios Inc.,” states the suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here). “Contrary to the unambiguous terms of the standard contract, [MGM] engages in a common and systematic practice of paying less revenue than it receives by including only 20% of said revenue when calculating the amount payable to profit participants.” The plaintiff’s father Jules Buck partnered with Peter O’Toole on films including The Lion In Winter and What’s New Pussycat? — the latter of which she cites in the suit.
Related: Hulu Hit With Class-Action Suit Over Automatic Renewals
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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios has given a vote of confidence to the current leadership of MGM Television, extending the contracts for Roma Khanna, President, Television Group and Digital; Chris Ottinger, President, International Television Distribution and Acquisitions; Steve Stark, President, Television Production … Read More »
Paramount will release MGM‘s Hot Tub Time Machine sequel wide on December 25, 2014, the studio just announced. Paramount came aboard in December as worldwide distributor for the pic, after MGM/UA released the first one in 2010 and … Read More »
Ken Schapiro’s move from COO to the new gig — which MGM says is a promotion — likely will fuel the speculation that CEO Gary Barber is inching closer to a decision to take the studio public. Schapiro joined as COO … Read More »
Bernie may be dead, but nearly 25 years after Weekend At Bernie’s came out, money from the movie isn’t. To that end, 20th Century Fox and MGM were sued today for … Read More »
MGM is kicking off a yearlong campaign to celebrate its birthday and has produced a trailer that will be shown in theaters, on MGM’s various channels and home video products, and via social media. As part of the celebration, the … Read More »
Warner Bros will release MGM‘s If I Stay on August 22. It will face off against Weinstein/Dimension’s crime pic Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and TriStar’s sports drama When The Game Stands Tall. R.J. Cutler directs … Read More »
Paramount will distribute the film worldwide theatrically and on home video while MGM will handle select international territories. MGM/United Artists paired on the first movie in 2010 which grossed $50.3 million domestically, a mild success theatrically but the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Boaz Yakin has been set to direct Max, an original family adventure film that will begin production March 1. Yakin is writing the script with Sheldon Lettich and he will be exec producer. It’s Yakin’s first family … Read More »
Listen to (and share) Episode 59 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s financial editor joins host David Bloom and Jonathan Geller of Deadline’s sibling site BGR.com in talking about the mobile business, starting with the fundamental face-off between Apple and Google over mobile business models. They also talk about the prospects for Samsung, Microsoft and BlackBerry; T-Mobile’s radical new approach to the mobile phone business; a new study suggesting more than half of Internet bandwidth is consumed by just two sites, YouTube and Netflix; and the dubious future of next-generation video game consoles as Sony launches the PS4 today and Microsoft debuts the Xbox One in a week.
Separately, the two Davids pick through the most notable news from this week’s media earnings reports, including MGM’s 2012 gifts that keep giving, CBS and Dish Network doing a dance around the Hopper and Viacom’s debt to Miley Cyrus and some zombies.
Deadline Big Media Episode 59 (MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media Episode 59 (M4A version) Read More »
MGM and the producer of the James Bond movies have finally acquired all of the rights to the 007 franchise. After a legal battle royale that has gone on more than 50 years, the studio and Danjaq today announced they now have all of the rights and interests to the British spy held by Kevin McClory and his estate. McClory worked with Bond creator Ian Fleming and writer Jack Whittingham on a script for Thunderball in the late 1950s. McClory would later claim he helped created a number of iconic elements of the Bond world and gave the character a more movie-friendly persona. No details of the agreement or a settlement have been released. However, I’ve learned that the agreement over the long-standing dispute was finalized between the parties in the last two weeks.
Related: It’s Official: Sam Mendes To Direct Bond #24 Read More »