‘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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Video Game Sensation ‘Minecraft’ Coming To The Big Screen As Warner Bros Acquires Rights; ‘Lego’s’ Roy Lee And Jill Messick Producing

minecraftEXCLUSIVE: Minecraft, one of the hottest video game franchises in the market today, is going to be made into a major motion picture. Warner Bros. just acquired the rights to the wildly popular game from Swedish indie developer Mojang AB (mojang means “gadget” in Swedish). The property already is getting huge interest from writers and filmmakers as Warners is putting together a live-action version. Roy Lee  is going to produce Minecraft via his Vertigo Entertainment production company along with Jill Messick (Mean Girls and Mean Moms) who will also produce in some capacity. Lee produced the megahit The Lego Movie with Dan Lin which launched a franchise for Warner Bros and a sequel is planned. Jon Berg is the executive in charge at the studio. CAA brokered the deal for the film rights.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘The Lego Movie’ Is Lord Of Business Again

warnerbrosMinecraft is one of the top five “open world”-type games, in which players can engage in a virtual world, creating any environment they can dream up with virtual blocks. It often is described as a “open sandbox” where the users can build anything they want. Minecraft has become an Internet sensation since its introduction in 2011. I know, gamers out there will point out that the beta version was introduced in 2009 and were invited to buy and play the game before it was finished — which was a smart move by Mojang because the players basically became the company’s test market and helped develop the game itself. (It didn’t hurt their bank account either). 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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Mandalay Vision, Vertigo Duet On Marjane Satrapi-Directed Thriller ‘The Voices’

By | Tuesday August 7, 2012 @ 9:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Mandalay Vision and Vertigo Entertainment will team on The Voices, a psychological thriller that will be directed by Marjane Satrapi from a script by Paranormal Activity’s Michael R. Perry. The script made the Black List, … Read More »

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Hideo Nakata To Direct Graphic Novel Adaptation ‘The Suicide Forest’

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 11:22am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producers Roy Lee and Taka Ichise are teaming on a live action feature adaptation of The Suicide Forest, the graphic novel from IDW Publishing. They’ve attached Hideo Nakata to direct. He helmed Ringu, which hatched The Ring, and he … Read More »

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Producer Trio Starts Primal Pictures, Putting Warner Bros Into Low Budget Genre Game

By | Tuesday March 6, 2012 @ 4:39pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producers Roy Lee, John Middleton and Lawrence Grey have partnered in Primal Pictures, a new genre arm of Vertigo Entertainment. The company will share the first look deal that Vertigo has with Warner Bros, and a big part of … Read More »

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Warner Bros Lands Brad Ingelsby Spec ‘The All-Nighter’

By | Tuesday January 10, 2012 @ 2:10pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In what might be the first solid spec sale of 2012, Warner Bros made a preemptive acquisition of The All-Nighter, an actioner scripted by Brad Ingelsby. Deal was mid-six figures up front and the film has Roy Lee and … Read More »

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Warner Bros Buys Action/Sci-Fi Pitch ‘Rise’ For Roy Lee & Underground

By | Tuesday December 13, 2011 @ 1:14pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has bought an action/sci-fi pitch created by David Karlak titled Rise, marking the scribe’s first studio sale. Roy Lee and Underground will team to produce the project, the details of which are under wraps. Lawrence Grey is … Read More »

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Spike Lee To Direct ‘Oldboy’ For Mandate

By | Monday July 11, 2011 @ 11:42am PDT

Mandate Pictures just announced that Spike Lee will direct Oldboy, a remake of the cult 2003 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Mark Protosevich has adapted the … Read More »

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CBS Films Boards ‘Flight 75′ With ‘The Grudge’ Helmer Takashi Shimizu

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired Flight 75, a pitch for a thriller that will be directed by The Grudge helmer Takashi Shimizu. Project was bought on a treatment by Shimizu and a writer will be set momentarily. It is described … Read More »

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