Ross Lincoln and Jen Yamato are Deadline contributors.
2ND UPDATE, 8:15 PM: After Chris Beall’s confirmation that he has been removed from his position at Platinum Studios, Deadline spoke by phone to both Beall and Scott Rosenberg for additional comment. Beall for his part remains adamant that Rosenberg’s tenure atop Platinum has been defined by mismanagement, reiterating in particular his claim that the transfer of a controlling share of Platinum Studios stocks was unethical because, he alleges, it is “an entity that Scott does have an ownership stake in.” Rosenberg disputes those claims without reservation, and speaking exclusively to Deadline, he said “I do not control Rip at all, and that’s from any legal standpoint, as anyone who would want to look at SEC records, accounting records, all legal avenues one can see, I do not control Rip.” Deadline has been told that further comment on the matter by Rip Media will follow.
1ST UPDATE, 3 PM: Platinum Studios‘ Chris Beall received a legal letter from the company saying he was voted out as president and director — the morning of an investors call that was to address Beall’s move earlier in the week to oust CEO Scott Rosenberg. The letter, dated yesterday at 10:45 AM, confirms that a majority share of the company’s shareholders had voted Beall out. (Beall alleges that 790 million of the voting shares owned by Rip Media were illegitimately transferred by Rosenberg before the shake-up.) The board reconstitution left Rosenberg and Glenn Eggert as the only remaining directors, with Rosenberg named as the company’s Chairman, CEO, President, Secretary, CFO, and Treasurer. The vote came after Beall issued a letter of suspension to Rosenberg on Monday (read that one here) and sent an email (read it here) to investors and board members outlining the reasons for his actions. He set up a call for yesterday at 7 PM but neither Beall or Rosenberg were on it.
Read More »
The author of a 1995 comic story with the same title as the movie Cowboys & Aliens has sued producers of the movie and a comics publisher, alleging they stole his idea. Austin-based author Steven John Busti filed the suit in federal court in Texas. The suit named DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and comic book entrepreneur Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and his company Platinum Studios as defendants. Busti claims he came up with the idea for cowboys fighting aliens in 1994 and published a story the following year titled “Cowboys & Aliens” in a comic called Bizarre Fantasy. The suit also claims that in 1994 the publication Comic Shop News ran a feature on his Cowboys & Aliens idea in the same issue that ran a story on Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s LA-based Platinum Studios in 2006 launched the graphic novel series Cowboys & Aliens — which Busti asserted in the suit has striking similarities to his work. Universal and DreamWorks bought movie rights from Platinum. Busti’s claim is another black mark against the movie on which the studios placed high hopes and a big budget. A major disappointment financially, Cowboys & Aliens grossed about $175 million worldwide, barely more than it cost.
EXCLUSIVE: Platinum Studios and Practical Pictures have teamed to develop Platinum’s graphic novel Alien At Large! as a feature. Platinum CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg is a producer on Cowboys & Aliens, and Practical Pictures partners Craig Perry and Sheila Hanahan Taylor are currently producing the final American Pie installment, American Reunion, for Universal. They also produced Final Destination 5, which will be released in August by Warner Bros and New Line.
Alien at Large! is one of 5000 properties that Platinum Studios controls. Cowboys & Aliens will be released July 29 by DreamWorks and Universal. Jon Favreau directed and Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford star.
EXCLUSIVE: Platinum Studios, a producer of the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens, has joined forces with Andrew Lazar and Top Cow Productions to turn the Top Cow comic Vice into a live action feature film. Vice tells the story of hard-core teen felons who join the FBI’s Critical Response Unit as a way to clear their records. Their bad attitudes and formidable powers make them as dangerous as the bad guys they pursue. Top Cow president Matt Hawkins created the comic in 2005. Lazar will produce with Platinum Studios chairman/CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, and Randy Greenberg will be exec producer with Hawkins and Marc Silvestri.
EXCLUSIVE: James Wan, who co-created and directed the original Saw, has been set to direct Nightfall, the film adaptation of the graphic novel. The film is a coproduction between Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s Platinum Studios and William Stuart’s Aurora Productions. The premise: a man is sentenced to time in a prison run by vampires. The graphic novel was published in 2007 and written and created by Scott O. Brown with art by Ferran Xalabarder. Wan will oversee the development of a script. His latest film, Insidious, plays in the Midnight Madness program at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. Read More »